By Associate Attorney Lauren Goyette
The holidays are supposed to be a time to celebrate with family and friends. However, if you are separated or divorced from your children's other parent, this time of year can be extremely stressful. Trying to figure out a schedule so both parents can celebrate with the children can be difficult.
If you already have a parenting plan in place, it is a good idea to review it and make sure the schedule still works for you and your family. If you don't already have a parenting plan in place, now is the time to make one. A parenting plan will have a regular parenting time schedule and a holiday parenting time schedule. The holiday schedule can be tailored to each family. You can include any holidays that you celebrate and any days that are important to you. These extra days can consist of Mother's Day, Father's Day, your birthday, a step-sibling's birthday, etc. The holiday schedule will always have preference over the regular schedule. That means if you are supposed to get Father's Day, but it falls on the other parent's weekend, you will still get parenting time on Father's Day. Typically, parties will alternate each holiday every year.
"Ensuring holiday parenting time is agreed upon can reduce stress when the holidays arrive," said Joe Coli, Partner at CTM Legal Group. The first holiday season being separated can be especially stressful. Planning early can help alleviate some of this stress. If you can agree on a schedule, you should get it in writing and have it entered as an order with the court. Even though you are in agreement now, it is best to have it entered with the court in case there are future disagreements. If you cannot agree, you should contact an attorney sooner rather then later. Most of the time, judges do not see holiday parenting time issues as emergencies. The holidays are at the same time every year and judges want parents to plan in advance.
If you have questions about parenting or family law, call CTM Legal Group today.
CTM Legal Group
77 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602