During the holiday seasons many spouses who have split up begin the “fight” regarding who gets the kids, for how long and when.
In California, if you have a court ordered holiday schedule, the holiday schedule will supersede your regular schedule. Most courts define kids “holidays” as the day the children are released from school until the day they return to school at the conclusion of the break from school.
If you don’t have a visitation agreement that specifies the holiday schedule (and some Family law Attorneys might suggest that you don’t make a written agreement), here are some tips to help you through the holiday season with as little stress and fighting as possible:
1 – Be Willing to Compromise. Its rare that you will get both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2 – Make Plans for Yourself. If you don’t have Thanksgiving this year, you will have it next year. Make Thanksgiving plans and enjoy it yourself – whatever you do, don’t give your kids a guilt trip, they should be able to spend time with their other parent without having to feel guilty.
3 – More than one holiday celebration is not a bad thing. What kid is going to complain about having two (2) Christmases?
5 – Don’t make holiday assumptions. If you are planning on travelling for a holiday and there is no agreement as to who gets the kid (s) on that holiday this year, make sure you speak with your the other parent before booking flights or hotel rooms. Never assume that the holiday is yours. Obviously, you will have better success at getting a particular holiday if you speak with the other parent first and ask them whether you can have the kids.
6 – Plan ahead for holidays. The sooner you can come to an agreement about the current year’s holiday schedule, the smoother the holidays will go.
7 – Create new holiday traditions. Creating new traditions with your children to make the holiday season special is a great idea. Life is not going to be the same once you and your spouse split, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create new and meaningful traditions.
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I am your Los Angeles Family Law Attorney Jeffrey Willards, Esq. Every day I have the privilege to meet good people often faced with traumatic financial and emotional devastation caused by the breakup of their family. I represent spouses and partners with high net worth estates as well as parties with limited means. No matter the circumstances or complexity of your assets, I vow to work tirelessly for the best possible outcome.
When necessary I can be your tenacious advocate but I’m always compassionate and sensitive to the circumstances you find yourself in at this pivotal time in your life. I will do all I can to steer you toward a successful, emotionally-healthy divorce where, when it’s all over, if you bump into your ex you can be civil; where if you have children, you can both attend a future wedding and you can treat each other with dignity and respect in front of your children. A non-destructive divorce is possible and should be our united goal if at all possible.
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