“My Ex and I Are Fighting About the Holiday Visitation Schedule”

The holidays are hard for separated families, and they can be harder if you are having a disagreement about your holiday visitation schedule.

There are, however, ways to head off potential problems.

1. Make sure you have a court-endorsed copy of your holiday visitation schedule well in advance of the holidays.

2. Make sure you understand the order. If you do not, you may need to speak to an attorney about the terms.

3. If you don’t have a schedule, or the terms are unclear, you may need to set a review hearing to set or clarify your holiday schedule. This can be done either as a stand-alone request for order, or as a review set after custody and visitation orders are made to go over the holidays. I typically have many review hearings set in November to iron out holiday schedules or choose an initial schedule.

4. Communicate with your Ex at an early point about holiday plans. Sometimes parties either disagree about the terms of a schedule, or have forgotten the terms. If you are going to have a disagreement, it is good to know early rather than later so you can address them in court. If it’s right before Thanksgiving, it’s too late.

5. Make sure that any changes or adjustments to the schedule are made in writing. It often makes sense for both parties to alter the arrangements based on family plans or travel plans, etc., and it is vital to have a record of this in case a dispute arises.

You should also be aware that holiday visitation overrides normal visitation. This can create complicated interplays, and you may need to sit down with your calendar to figure out the schedule.

A final note is that when dividing the holidays, make sure to bring up all the holidays that matter to you. Some people only care about Christmas and Easter Break. Others want to have Father’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, and the birthdays of the parents figured out. You should be sure to bring up any potential conflict areas in advance and have them addressed in the order.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

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