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Can my parenting plan address a holiday schedule?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Child Custody

The holiday season is a time when families spend time together to celebrate. Regardless of their religion and personal beliefs, the mere fact that children will be off from school and people will gather lends itself to increased interaction with family members.

This can be complicated by a divorce and child custody issues.

Parenting time can be a source of discord in general, but when the holidays come about, it is often harder.

A parenting plan is in place to keep conflict to a minimum, but that does not prevent disagreements. When crafting a parenting plan or if one is already in place, it is important to understand the law regarding how it is organized – especially during the holidays.

Parents have specific rights and responsibilities with custody and parenting time

The child’s well-being is paramount in a child custody and parenting time case. The primary focus should be on their best interests. Part of that is knowing how to handle a parenting plan, especially over the holiday season.

Like the rest of the year, the parents will be responsible for the schedule; how the child will be brought up educationally and religiously; their health care; arranging childcare; transporting the child from one parent to the other; and how to settle any difference of opinion.

The parents can submit a parenting plan during the family law case. In some instances, the court will require it. In it, it can be made clear how the parents want to share the child on every holiday and special occasion. It can also stipulate how rearrangements are made.

For example, one parent’s family could live in another state. They might want to take the child with them for the new year. This could be a challenge that will be discussed in the agreement or the sides can negotiate by perhaps trading days.

Help for holiday parenting time and more

It is not simply the holiday season when parents might argue over when they will see the child. Special occasions, school breaks, vacations and events can also cause problems between the parents and others who have a stake in the child’s life.

The parenting plan can address how the parents will share the child or it can be used to resolve challenges and put the focus on the child’s needs.

Pennsylvania Bar Association

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