Navigating Custody Arrangements During the Holiday Season

Child custody and visitation

Whether you’ve been divorced for a while or just recently separated, the holidays bring a unique set of challenges when it comes to custody arrangements. We will explain what you need to do to navigate those challenges, including any legal steps you should take.

Negotiating joint custody arrangements that include equal amounts of time during holiday and vacation periods is important. Without such orders in place, the other parent could take all of the holidays for herself or himself and there is little that can be done with no court case and judge to turn to.

The Importance of a Parenting Plan in Custody Arrangements

Getting to a good parenting plan should be your goal, with the assistance of a family law attorney. The end result would optimally be generous amounts of time during the school year and also during all holidays and vacations.

Some typical orders for shared holidays might be:

  • Christmas in even years to dad, in odd years to mom
  • Thanksgiving in even years to mom, in odd years to dad
  • one-half of Christmas vacation and spring break to each parent
  • half of each summer to each parent

What you are trying to do is preserve and continue your frequent contact with your children, especially during holidays, vacations and school closings.

The Legal Side of Custody Arrangements

Reaching an agreement with the other parent is ideal, but you may have to go through mediation to get there or have your attorney negotiate the terms of your holiday custody time.  Sometimes a court hearing will be necessary, and if this happens, you and your attorney can explain to the judge why your children need you in their lives all parts of the year and especially when they are taking breaks from school.

This will also allow you to continue and develop your children’s relationship with the rest of your family, so grandma and grandpa and their aunts and uncles and cousins can remain close.

When Modifications Are Needed to Your Custody Arrangements

If you already have a custody order in place that does not have a holiday parenting plan—and particularly if the other parent is giving you a hard time about the holidays because of this—you should take steps to modify the existing order.

You can do so by taking the steps outlined here, with the assistance of your attorney. You will need to show that something has changed and this is substantial enough for the court to make changes to your custody order.  

Your attorney will help you explain this so the court gets the message and within a short time you may find things have changed in your favor.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help With Custody Arrangements

When you’re going through a divorce, an experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the process, including those related to custody arrangements.

If you are considering divorce or have already made the difficult decision to pursue divorce and have questions, contact JWB Family Law to schedule a free consultation.

JWB Family Law Adds Anne B. Howard ESQ., as a Senior Associate Attorney

JWB Family Law is expanding its team to welcome Anne B. Howard, ESQ, as a Senior Associate Attorney. Anne brings extensive expertise in family law to the team, specializing in child support, paternity, asset, and property division, and divorce. “I was drawn to the...

Custody and Successful Co-Parenting During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in our daily lives. Schools are closed, parents are working from home, and some have lost their jobs. Life is not what it was just a few months ago. Children are now with parents all day—every day. Parents are now responsible...

How to Deal With Domestic Violence During COVID-19

There is a growing concern amongst professionals regarding a rise in domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the period from March 1 through April 25, 2020, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department logged 2,309 domestic-related calls. This is roughly a three...

JWB Family Law Continues to Serve Clients During COVID-19

Heightened anxiety and uncertainty in the world often result in significant family distress, including a surge in domestic violence incidents. As a family law practice, we need to show up for our clients now more than ever. For that reason, JWB Family Law is operating...

How Do I Change My Family Court Order and When Should I Do It?

When should you change your Family Court order?  When it no longer serves the needs of your family.   For example, if a custody order is entered when your baby girl is two years old, it may say she stays with each parent for 2 or 3 days and then trades back.  This is...

What is Family Court Services Mediation and Do I Have to Attend It?

If you are unhappy with your current custody plan, or need to create a new one, you may ask the court for assistance.  To do that, you will need to file a Request for Order with the local court. Immediately upon filing the Request, you will receive a date to attend...

How to Legally Obtain a Paternity Test

It happens.  Sometimes we do not know who the biological father of a child is.  It is important information. Paternity effects health issues, as well as the socioeconomic ones.   Enter the paternity test.  It is not like the old days of enormous expense, blood tests,...

JWB Family Law Adds Carmen E. Ramos, CFLS, as a Senior Associate Attorney

JWB Family Law is expanding its team to welcome Carmen E. Ramos, CFLS, as a Senior Associate Attorney. Carmen joins the JWB Family Law legal team to help the firm in all aspects of family law: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and property...

The Basics of Filing for Divorce in San Diego

To begin the process of filing for divorce in San Diego County, you will need to file a Summons (FL-110), and a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (FL-100). If you have children, you will also need to file a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction...

Custody Rights: Prepare for Mediation with Family Court Services

If you are involved in a family court case in San Diego County and there are issues of child custody rights and visitation, at some point you will need to attend court-ordered mediation with Family Court Services. This usually takes place prior to any court hearing on...