Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching fast. This is a stressful time for many people, as it means navigating COVID-19 while trying to have some semblance of normalcy with family. When parents of minor children are separated, the holidays take on an additional layer of stress as it involves child custody arrangements and the feelings those arrangements elicit.
Child Custody Agreements
Child custody agreements and orders address visitation rights during holidays. Courts understand the value in extended visitation with children when school isn’t in session. Therefore, a noncustodial parent will generally get extended visits during the summer and winter breaks. Also, custody agreements will generally dictate that parents will trade off holidays each year like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
If you don’t have a child custody agreement or order in place, then it is worth your time to talk to a family lawyer. Even if both parents are not perfectly happy with it, an agreement can provide predictability and stability for parents and children. These formal agreements and orders are enforceable in court and allow each parent the peace of mind in what holiday visitation should look like.
COVID-19 Doesn’t Change Child Custody Orders
Despite COVID-19 disrupting many facets of our lives, it does not provide an excuse to defy child custody agreements and orders. The Governor and Supreme Court have issued guidance that child custody orders have to be followed as closely as possible despite COVID-19. This means that parents must still follow holiday visitation orders and agreements.
Therefore, without a court’s approval or an agreement between parents, failing to comply with child custody orders regarding holiday visitation is a violation of an existing agreement or order. This can subject the non-compliant parent to enforcement or contempt actions in court. If you have serious concerns about holiday visitation and cannot reach an amicable agreement with the other parent, a lawyer can talk you through your prospects of a modification.
Co-Parenting During the Holidays
While holidays can be tough for parents, it can also be difficult for children. Parents can make the situation far worse when there is fighting, contention, or there are attempts to negatively influence a child against the other parent. Children benefit immeasurably when parents follow agreements and orders, amicably settle disagreements, and put aside differences to communicate well when it comes to visitation and exchanging children during the holidays.
New Direction Family Law
The holidays can be hard when child custody issues are involved. If you need help reaching an agreement or obtaining a court order, contact the attorneys at New Direction Family Law. Our lawyers understand the significance of this time in your life and are determined to fight for your legal rights. We know the law, operate with integrity, and have a track record of success. Let us help you. We proudly serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment, or contact us at our website.