Dealing with child custody and visitation issues during the holidays can be challenging for divorced parents. If your former spouse wants extra visitation for the holidays, you need to make an informed decision about how to handle the request. A Turnersville visitation lawyer can help you decide what to do, and, once you talk to a lawyer, you can feel confident knowing that you made the right decision with your children’s best interests in mind.
What Does Your Child Custody Order or Parenting Plan Say?
When dealing with a request for extra visitation during the holidays, the first thing to do is review the child custody order or parenting plan from your divorce. There are a couple of provisions in particular that could potentially be relevant to your situation:
- Special Provisions for Holiday Visitation – In addition to routine weekly (or bi-weekly) visitation schedules, some child custody orders and parenting plans include special provisions for birthdays and holidays. If your child custody order or parenting plan entitles your former spouse to additional holiday visitation, then this is most likely the end of the discussion. You will want to make sure you know exactly when your former spouse is entitled to visitation (i.e., whether your spouse gets the entire holiday, a certain number of hours, or the day or evening before), and you will want to make sure your former spouse complies with those terms.
- Provisions Regarding Deviations – Some child custody orders and parenting plans will also include provisions regarding deviations from the parents’ normal visitation schedule. Does your order or plan explicitly give you the right to reject the request? Have you agreed to consider occasional requests for additional visitation time in good faith? If your order or plan provides guidance in any respect, you should take it into account when making your decision.
While your child custody order or parenting plan might include one (or both) of these provisions, it also might not. In this scenario, it is best to turn to a Turnersville visitation lawyer for guidance. Even if you are open to considering your former spouse’s request, you still need to make sure that (i) granting the request won’t lead to future issues and (ii) allowing additional visitation is in your children’s best interests. Whichever option you ultimately choose, it may also be beneficial to document your decision and the reasons for it in a letter that you can use as evidence in court if necessary.
What if Your Former Spouse Violates Your Child Custody Order or Parenting Plan?
If you reject your former spouse’s request and he or she takes extra visitation time during the holidays against your will (or if your former spouse simply takes extra visitation time without asking), this is a different matter entirely. It will be important for you to enforce the terms of your child custody order or parenting plan and discuss your legal options with a lawyer promptly.
Speak with a Turnersville Visitation Lawyer in Confidence
If you have questions about how to deal with a request for extra visitation during the holidays, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a confidential consultation with a Turnersville visitation lawyer, call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can help online today.