The holidays can be a stressful time for parents sharing both custody and visitation of their children. Differing religious beliefs and conflicting work schedules are on the top of the list for conflict between divorce parents with children during the holidays. Having a settled parent agreement outlining child visitation during the holidays can help avoid conflicts.
With a written plan, you, your children and the other parent will know what to expect. This will greatly reduce conflicts about shared parenting time. A Sacramento visitation attorney can help you create a fair visitation plan that includes holidays and other important family celebrations.
Holiday Visitation Rights and Responsibilities
In most cases, it is best to reach an agreement with the other parent and sign a formal agreement for holiday visitation. If you cannot come to a fair agreement with the other parent, you will need to file paperwork in court to request a hearing for a visitation order or a modification of a prior order. At the hearing you can tell the judge your proposed holiday visitation for your children. The other parent will also have the opportunity to discuss their wishes for holiday visitations.
The judge will then make an order about child custody and visitation. Your parenting plan becomes a court order after it is signed by both of you, signed by the judge and filed with the court. This court order has the force of law. It is very important that you keep a copy of your current court order in a safe place. The court order will have specific details of your visitation order, including where your child or children will spend every holiday, birthdays and vacations.
When You Need Help
While you wait for a child visitation agreement to be ordered by the family court, it is best to be polite, clear and specific when you talk to the other parent. Record relative events in a notepad and keep businesslike records of important incidents and agreements. Be consistent and keep verbal promises. This is important as your children need consistency. Your children need to be able to trust and rely on you.
Having a solid visitation plan that considers what is in the best interest of the child is usually the best strategy. This will often require flexibility with the other parent to create a plan that lets your child enjoy quality time and traditions with both parents. An experienced child custody lawyer can help you understand what type of visitation agreement to expect based on your specific family dynamic.
A Sacramento family law attorney can also explain your rights and responsibilities as you progress through the process. Seeking the advice of a family law attorney can also be helpful should the other parent not abide by the holiday visitation order, including steps to appropriately preserve your parental rights while enforcing the visitation order.