With Labor Day behind us, retailers are putting out Halloween decorations and candy even though the end of October is still more than a month away. Even more troubling (or exciting depending on your sensibilities) some retailers are already making holiday decorations available.
Why is it important to plan for the holidays so far in advance?
For divorcing and separated parents, planning as far out as possible is critical because timing is everything. Basically, the longer you wait to address questions about holiday parenting time, the less likely you will have them resolved by the time the holidays come around.
This is especially important if you have if traditions that conflict with each other, or the other parent wants to take the kids to an out-of-state for a vacation. When there is no current order detailing holiday parenting time, conflict is more likely to affect the holidays.
Be aware of court schedules
With that, in mind, plan in advance and be aware of the following: First, family court is a busy place. Accordingly, the calendar may be booked weeks, if not months, in advance. Motions filed near the holidays (e.g. in late November), therefore, may not be readily resolved.
Second, there is an inherent expectation that parents share the holiday season with the kids. This means that even if there is no court order established, parents should make the season special for children by ensuring that they get to experience holiday celebrations from both sides of their family.
For questions about the best way to secure holiday parenting time, an experienced family law attorney can help.