Visitation During The Holidays
The holidays should be a time of happiness, joy, and celebration with family and friends. This season can also come with various issues about child custody and visitation. Most parents want their child to be with them at all times, if possible, particularly on significant days during the holiday season, and this desire usually creates issues between co-parents and, sometimes, the child.
A detailed holiday visitation schedule included in your parenting plan can make everyone’s lives easier since it specifies where your child must spend each holiday without needing to negotiate with the other parent each year.
What is a Holiday Visitation Schedule?
Although the holiday visitation schedule will look different from one family to another, parents normally rotate holidays like Easter, July 4th, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day. The child usually spends Mother’s Day with their mother and Father’s Day with their father. When the parents’ homes are far apart, the visitation schedule is usually modified to consider the travel times.
Christmas break is typically divided between the parents evenly. For instance, the child will stay with them for the first half of the break and stay with the other parent during the last half of the break. This schedule usually alternates each year, depending on the parents’ agreement.
What to Do If The Other Parent is Withholding Visitation During The Holidays?
If your child’s other parent is withholding visitation over the holidays, it is very important to get in touch with a Georgia family law attorney right away and get a motion for contempt filed with the court. You can do that either as an emergency motion or an expedited motion, so you can get in front of a judge as quickly as possible.
Just because it is the holidays does not mean a parent does not have to follow the parenting plan that is in place unless there is a court order allowing them not to. So, if they are withholding visitation, you need to get in front of a judge as soon as possible so you don't miss that time.
Oftentimes, however, you know people are going to have their exchanges occur on Christmas day. If those exchanges are on Christmas day, it is going to be very difficult to get in front of a judge when the courthouse is closed. So, what may happen at that point is you file the motion after Christmas in hopes that and with the expectation that you will get the time that you lost this year made up next year.
This essentially means that you will not be really losing all the time that you should have gotten under the parenting plan.
Seek Legal Advice From a Skilled Georgia Family Lawyer Now
If you’re having any issues with your co-parent over visitation during the holidays or any concerns about child custody matters, contact Banks, Stubbs & McFarland for legal guidance. Dial 770-887-1209 or contact us online to schedule your free case review with our Georgia family lawyer today.