Planning for holiday visitation and travel
The holidays are just around the corner and it is a good idea to plan for holiday visitation and figure out who is going where and if significant travel is going to be involved. As children get older and families grow there are more opportunities for family and friends to gather. What might have worked in the past could need adjustment. Hopefully you and your former spouse can work together and solve problems before they arise.
Working with the other parent to plan holiday visitation
Do you need to stick to your plan? In your original divorce decree there should be a parenting plan that states which parent has primary custody and with which parent will children be during holidays. Most standard visitation plans alternate holidays on even and odd years. These parenting plans and schedules may be flexible if you have a good relationship with your former spouse. Compromise is always appropriate when it is in the best interests of the children.
If you cannot come to an agreement and visitation schedules are leading to conflict, you might want to ask your attorneys, like a family attorney Collin County TX relies on, to help settle the disagreement with a creative solution that works for everyone. Most often this can be accomplished through a few phone calls, emails and a meeting.
Traveling long distances and out of state
As children grow older they become better travelers and a noncustodial parent might love to take their children on a holiday destination vacation. The bonding time with children is good for everyone. These trips however, might require some adjustment to the agreed visitation schedule.
If you are traveling far or out of state it is appropriate to provide the other parent with an itinerary and contact numbers and locations where the child will be. The other parent may have a right to ask for this information so offering it is appropriate. Additionally, issues including health and medical insurance and options for care and return of the children in the event of an emergency, should be addressed.
Setting the scene for a positive holiday experience for everyone
Who is planning to attend your friends and family gathering? The holidays are stressful enough without the surprise of an awkward conversation with someone who does not know how to filter themselves around you or your children. Use your best judgment in considering whether to talk to someone before your holidays to remind them not to talk about your divorce or former spouse because then children will be there.
Creating comfortable environments for guests is important so that people have options, especially if anyone there is not their favorite person. People appreciate feeling comfortable around others and having their own space in a social environment. Activates and spaces for adults and children can reduce the risk of unpleasant conversation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Scroggins Family Law for their insight into family law practice.