It’s that time of year again; the holidays are almost here! And whether you’re celebrating with your family or not, it can be difficult to navigate the holiday season when you’re going through a divorce. This week, during Love Court on the Alice 96.5 Morning Show, Jessica Anderson of Anderson and Keuscher PLLC discusses navigating this time of year while dealing with the legality of separation.
This question was submitted by a reader who is currently going through a custody battle with her ex. She and her ex share custody of their child every other week, but their deal with each other states that she will have custody of their child on even-year Thanksgiving. This year, while she does have custody of their child for Thanksgiving, the holiday falls on her ex’s weekend. She wants to know: does it only apply to the date, or can she have her child over Thanksgiving weekend, despite it being their father’s weekend?
The question of holiday custody exchanges is one that parents often struggle with when they’re going through a divorce. It’s understandable that the mother would want to see her child on Thanksgiving Day, but it sounds like the father isn’t very flexible with his time.
Jessica Anderson is an attorney at Anderson Keuscher. She says that the best course of action is to follow the custody arrangement. If there’s no stipulation regarding the timing of holiday custody exchanges, there’s nothing legally that can be done. Jessica suggests working things out with the ex personally in order to come up with a specific plan for Thanksgiving day—and beyond. Her advice is that if she doesn’t talk to her ex, she will only get the specific Thanksgiving day as stipulated in their divorce agreement. The mother and the father should sit down and re-work their custody agreement to be more specific about what time each parent will have their child during holidays and other special occasions so everyone can feel comfortable knowing exactly where they stand in terms of access to their kids during those times.
Creating Custody Plans During an Amicable Divorce
If your divorce is amicable, it’s still important to organize things in writing.
Jessica advises couples on the brink of divorce to make sure their custody agreements plan for the worst so it can exist as a fallback. It’s especially important to make custody exchange times clear—for example, if one parent wants the kids from 5-8pm every Friday, be sure to write that down.
If you don’t do this, misunderstandings, conflict, and even legal issues could arise. The best course of action is to be as clear as possible from the very beginning.
Want to know more about separation and marital law? We’ve got you covered. Jessica answers every question sent to her, so if you’ve got questions, the Love Court’s got answers!
Write into Love Court on the Alice 96.5 Morning Show by visiting the Love Court portal on our website or call (775) 823 – 0049.