Managing custody during the holidays

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Friday, December 7, 2018.

The holidays are meant to be filled with feelings of warmth and happiness, not contention. Yet as you work your way through your divorce proceedings in Springfield, you may see such future discord as being unavoidable. One of the primary sources of contention amongst divorce parents is how to allocate custody time during the holiday season. Many come to us here at the Stange Law Firm PC questioning what the law mandates in terms of holiday custody time. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut legal standard. However, you and your ex-spouse will be expected to address the issue of special custody cases in your parenting plan.

It is understandable that both you and your ex-spouse want to spend the entire holiday season with your kids, yet that may not be possible. At the same time, family courts recognize the special circumstances of the season and thus do not expect you and your ex-spouse to follow your routine custody and visitation schedule. A mandate is made, then, to come up with a plan that is amenable to you both as part of your parenting plan.

The court often offers suggestions on how to divide holiday time equally. Consider the sample holiday custody schedule developed by the St. Louis Circuit County Court: in regards to the Christmas holiday, it recommends that you and your ex-spouse rotate having custody from 5:00 pm on the day school is dismissed for Christmas break until 5:00 pm on December 27 in even-numbered years, and from 5:00 pm on December 27 until 5:00 pm the day prior to school resuming on odd-numbered years. This allows you both extended time to each have your own Christmas celebration with the kids, and for each to take advantage of their time away from school.

More information on managing your custody schedule can be found throughout our site.

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