December can be a very busy month for family law attorneys as we try to coordinate holiday visitation and ensure exchanging children will go as smoothly as possible for our clients. What I advise clients is for them to review and be aware of the parameters of the court-ordered visitation schedule before it gets here. Most holiday visitation schedules supersede or override the normal day-to-day visitation schedule to which parents are accustomed.

I also ask my clients to keep in mind that making this time as stress-free as possible for the children involved is in the children’s best interests. Even when the other parent isn’t cooperating, it doesn’t mean you can’t provide a sense of calm and stability for your child.  Place your children’s needs above your own, and remember, they really want to spend holiday time with both of their parents.  

Several ways to help your children have a smooth and pleasant time with both sides of their family include:

  • Make the children aware of the schedule in advance, to include who’s picking them up when, and where. The more children know what to expect, the better.
  • Communicate with the children’s other parent to ensure he or she is aware of any events happening with your side of the family that may affect the children’s enjoyment of the holiday; family illnesses for instance. 
  • Stay as consistent as possible with family traditions and interactions with extended family members, which helps provide stability and instill confidence in the children.
  • Don’t overload your children with hectic schedules over the holidays. Remember, this is their holiday break too. 

If you need help in creating or changing a visitation schedule, we can help.  If you find yourself in a situation where you would like to change the current court-ordered visitation schedule and feel there are grounds to do so, or if you need to address the custody and care of your child, contact our office to discuss how we can be of service to you.  

Wishing you a very enjoyable holiday, from our family at Hutchens Law Firm, to yours.  

Published on December 19, 2017.