Preparing for the Holiday Timesharing-Review
It’s hard to believe that another year, particularly such a difficult one, is fast approaching what is called the “holiday season.” These special times of celebration include Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. All these events are traditionally family-oriented, and children play a large part in the celebrations. All ages of children, young and old, usually participate, but those children under the age of l8 and those unable to provide for themselves due to physical or mental challenges, have a particularly important role to play. And, of course, it is not unusual for both parents to want to spend these special times with their children. Because of the desire of both parents, which could escalate into problems, most states, including Florida, have made parenting plans a requirement for dissolution of marriage involving minor children. Within a parenting plan, there will be specific details as to:
- When and where minor children will spend each holiday. This means the parenting plan will designate which parent will have the minor child for the holiday. Parents often put in the parenting plan that holidays will switch every other year. For example, dad has Suzy this year for Christmas, and Mom has her next year. Sometimes if the holiday, such as Christmas, involves more than one day, the days will be divided between the parents. Too, sometimes a special day such as Halloween will be divided, one parent having the child say from noon to six and the other parent from six on. Details will be spelled out exactly as they are to be followed, and should a parent not honor the details, contempt of court can be filed.
- There will be details in the parenting plan as to regulations as to how far and for how long a parent can travel with their minor child. Included in these travel regulations will be how much advance notice before a trip will be necessary. In other words, a parent cannot just take a child for a visit away from the home area on the spur of the moment. Both parents and the child must be informed, prepared, and then parenting rules for travel followed.
- The mode of travel is often spelled out in a parenting plan. Some people refuse to fly or take a train, for example, and will put in the parenting plan that their minor child should not be taken on these or other named types of transportation.
- Pick-up and drop-off arrangements need to be made in plenty of time when it comes to holidays. Sometimes, if these arrangements will be different from the usual arrangements, they will be specifically spelled out in the parenting plan.
- If religious services or influences will be a part of the holiday such as attending a nativity play at Christmas, both parents must agree that this will be acceptable.
Holidays are special times and should be kept that way, especially for children. Tradition is a healthy part of a child’s developmental years, and parents owe it to their children to continue making holidays special, even it means sacrificing some of the parent’s usual plans. Putting minor children first is key to raising children successfully, especially when there has been a broken home or relationship.
Should you have further questions or concerns regarding preparing for holiday timesharing and you live in Florida in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County, New York or Washington DC Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo offers an initial, free, in-office consultation. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and for new clients on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. You can call his office at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.