Holiday Timesharing Trumps Regular Timesharing Schedule
If you have gone through a divorce or separation involving minor children, you and the court will have established a parenting plan and a timesharing arrangement. The information included will be a part of your divorce decree ordered by a judge, and it must be followed, even during the holiday season. As the holiday season fast approaches, it is wise to read over your parenting plan and parental timesharing order details. Neither party can change any part of these agreements outside of returning to court for an official ruling by a judge to make a change. And then there must be a proven, substantial need for a change. Even if there are wonderful opportunities for your minor child during the holidays, if the time you have with them is not in the regular timesharing schedule, you cannot just “take the child.”Technically there can be no changes in the timesharing schedule. However, there are times when parents who get along and see the benefit for a short, one-time change will both agree that, for example, a child can come for dinner to meet great aunt Suzy who will just be in town for one day even though that particular day is off schedule.
Probably the most difficult part of holiday timesharing revolves around school-age children. For example, if your timesharing plan stipulates that your child will spend Thanksgiving with you, then the child will spend the whole of Thanksgiving school break with you, even though two of those days would normally be the other parent’s days according to your timesharing schedule. Most major holidays have school closings associated with the holiday, and usually, those days will trump the timesharing schedule. Sometimes, when school closings are long such as during the winter break, a parenting plan and timesharing agreement will divide the time in half, giving each parent half the vacation and overriding the regular timesharing schedule.
Depending on the way your timesharing schedule is set up will determine how you work holidays. For example, if you have your child every other week or every other month, it may be more difficult to determine how holiday timesharing should work. In cases where you are unsure, it is best to contact your attorney to make sure you are doing it right.No one wants to end a holiday in a courtroom being held in contempt for not following their timesharing orders.
If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange County, Florida or New York or Washington, DC and you have general questions regarding parental timesharing and are looking for an experienced Family Law attorney, Grant Gisondo, B.S.C. has over of a decade of successful practice. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation during office hours which are Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM for new clients on Saturday. Please call his office in Palm Beach Gardens at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.