If your are in the process of going through a divorce, the upcoming holidays will probably present you with a few new challenges. Seeing everyone in the family together is always wonderful but now that your family has changed, there will be some unique stresses this holiday season.
Here are a few tips for navigating child custody this holiday season:
Set a Schedule
This can mean a lot of things depending on your relationship with your ex-spouse and where you all live. Some possibilities include:
Alternate a single statutory holiday. You and your ex-spouse can be responsible for the children on a particular holiday on alternating years.
Split the school holiday in half. Ifyou and your ex-spouse still live relatively close to one another, you can each spend half of each holiday with the children. Often it is helpful to specify when the school holiday starts and stops.
Fix certain employment holidays. If there are different holidays in the year that you and your ex-spouse prefer, you can agree on the number of days of the holidays. You can specify when the holidays are to occur and you can specify if they are to be taken consecutively or in separate blocks. You may also want to consider providing a notice deadline for each spouse so you do not both book holidays at the same time.
Whichever schedule you decide on, be sure to reduce your agreement to writing so everyone knows what to expect and can act accordingly. It may sound unnecessary but you should write the schedule down as soon as it is agreed upon so everyone is clear on the dates, times and place(s) of exchange. Valerie can draft a holiday agreement for you.
Don't get Competitive
Parents becoming competitive over the relative successes of their holidays can be a problem, particularly for religious holidays or birthdays where presents are involved. Children are often more perceptive than adults think and can usually pick up on the implicit tension competitiveness creates. It is best to resolve any division of holidays by agreement and to compromise to ensure you avoid a court application; however, if this is not possible, you can go to court and ask the Judge to divide the holidays between you and your spouse.
If you are contemplating a divorce and are need of a child custody lawyer in the Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, or Burnaby areas, contact Valerie at Valerie M. Little Law. She can give you specific information and detailed advice about how to handle the legal aspects of your own unique situation.