If you are a parent who is divorced and sharing custody of your minor children with your ex, the holiday custody schedule can resemble a nightmare scenario if that parent refuses to be flexible. It’s a given that both of you want to spend time with the kids over the holidays. This can be accomplished, but a little flexibility can go a long way to establishing holiday cheer.
For instance, suppose you have family who quarantined themselves and drove a long way to celebrate the holidays with you and your children. But your spouse has the kids for the holiday weekend when your parents and siblings will be in town and they refuse to adjust the schedule. This not only inconveniences the out-of-town guests, but it also hurts the kids who miss out on the opportunity to visit with their other grandparents and aunts and uncles.
That’s not a fair situation — but it may be legal according to your custody agreement. That’s why the best custody agreements reflect which parent will have the kids for which holidays. Even then, however, you can run into trouble if the kids’ other parent refuses to adjust the schedule to accommodate your guests.
How do you handle these kinds of holiday conflicts? You can try bargaining with your ex. Agree to give them more time with the children on another holiday or some other day they may desire. Put the offer in writing, if necessary.
If, however, your spouse refuses to budge on the matter, you could take them to court for a one-time change in your custody agreement. Discussing the matter with your family law attorney can provide you with clarity about your position and a possible path forward through the dilemma.