W. Tyler Moore, PC

'Tis the season to review your child custody holiday schedule

For many people in Houston, autumn and winter are their favorite seasons due to the many holidays celebrated these months. This is especially true for families with children, who want to make happy holiday memories that will last their child's lifetime. Of course, families come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes a child's parents are divorced. However, even divorced parents can take steps to ensure that the fall and winter holidays run smoothly, so that their child still experiences the wonder of the season.

First of all, a child custody holiday schedule may already be laid out in the child custody order. For example, on odd years one parent will have the child on Thanksgiving and the other parent will have the child on Christmas, and on even years the roles will be reversed. It is important to review this order well ahead of time. This way, parents can see if any changes to the existing order need to be made, and they have time to work together to reach a resolution.

Also, it is important that the children are made aware of what this year's holiday plans are. Again, this is something to do well ahead of time, so that the child doesn't experience any unexpected surprises. Also, by knowing what the plan is, kids can focus on the excitement of the season, rather than wondering where they will be spending it.

It can be difficult not to have the child during important occasions, especially if a parent does not have custody of the child during the actual holiday. However, just because it's not the actual holiday doesn't' mean that the holiday can't be celebrated. For example, if a parent doesn't have custody of the child on Christmas day, but does have custody of the child the following weekend, then that parent can have a Christmas celebration with the child on the weekend they do have custody. This could also be a great way to establish new holiday traditions.

In the end, parents who are divorced should still try to work together and honor a holiday child custody schedule, for the sake of the child. Children should not have to feel like they are being caught between fighting parents during what is supposed to be a happy time. So, review those child custody holiday schedules now, and, if changes need to be made, it can help to consult an attorney who can advise their clients on what steps to take moving forward.

Source: pottsmerc.com, "Child custody and the holidays: Do's and Don'ts," Andrew D. Taylor, November 27, 2013

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