Many of you may lament at the earlier and earlier onset of the holiday’s each year. However, in the area of child custody and visitation, you cannot begin holiday planning too soon. Many parents wait until there is a problem with holiday visitation before notifying their lawyer. The problem is that holiday problems happen just before or just during the holidays… when your lawyer is away for the holidays, the judge is away for the holidays and the courts are closed. You expect your issue to be addressed. Unfortunately, there is a high probability that it will not be addressed.
Now is the time to discuss as well as confirm with your former significant other holiday plans involving your mutual off-spring. If you discover that there are problems, contact your attorney immediately. Why? Currently, courts are filing their October and early November calendars…. That’s right….. 30-45 days from now. If you encounter a problem, you can get “ in cue” so to speak so that your issue can be heard by the court, if necessary. If you wait until November 15th ( a week or so before the first major holiday), the court’s will be quoting hearing dates for January. I personally got a January court date today. And don’t think that your situation warrants an emergency hearing, because it is quite likely it will not. You see, the judges have heard most of the custodial scenarios before, and only the very serious cases ( hint: physical danger, abuse, outright kidnapping) generally will warrant an emergency hearing.
The best thing to do is to get busy now… contact your ex and go over the agreement. If you need to make changes, find out if your ex will agree to the changes now, and if not, right now is the time to contact your attorney. You have a better chance that they will appreciate your early planning, the court can schedule a hearing to address your concern, and everyone , including your children, will have a better chance of enjoying the magic of the holiday season.