Although the holidays are supposed to be a time full of warmth and good cheer, many families know that the holidays can often be tense and even combative. For families that are separated, it can be especially stressful because the children are often left confused and disappointed. If there is no plan ahead of time for the holidays, it can create even more stress for the family. The best thing to do is to discuss and settle these issues before the holidays roll around which will do away with any need to have further litigation.
Crafting Your Own Holiday Schedule
Parents are allowed to create their own holiday parenting schedule at any time. However, if this is not discussed in the court approved parenting schedule then it can’t be enforced if one parent does not adhere to the schedule. If there is conflict over the holiday parenting schedule, you may consider seeing an experienced family law lawyer to craft an agreement that is clear and enforceable. Your attorney will be able to eliminate some of that stress and make a clear plan for the future, which in the end will help the whole family enjoy the holidays.
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New Jersey Guidelines for the Holidays
In New Jersey, there are clear guidelines for parents on how to navigate the holiday time. If there is a disagreement over the holiday schedule each parent can file a Custody and Parenting Time/Visitation plan under Rule 5:8-5. This visitation plan will be reviewed by the court and include a specific time schedule for visitation that includes federal holidays, religious holidays, birthdays, extracurricular activities and other special outings or gatherings. However, this only includes Christian holiday and if the family celebrates other religious holidays this should be written in the visitation plan.
The schedule will be specific to the pick up time and drop off plan to avoid any arguments and to be as clear as possible. For visitation, the holiday parenting schedule will take priority over the normal weekly schedule since not all parents can agree on how they should be spent.
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However, if a parent fails to comply with the schedule the court can decide to dismiss the non-complying parent’s pleadings or other sanctions. Oftentimes, there may be miscommunication or a genuine mistake made by one of the parents. If there is non-compliance however, under N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:13-4(a), you have the right to file an incident report for interference with custody or a criminal complaint for visitation interference.
If you are having trouble navigating the holiday parenting time, please contact an experienced family law attorney to help solve your problem. Many separated families are still able to enjoy the holiday season and you can too!
Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney For A Consultation About Divorce In New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. They can also help guide you in making important decisions, like how to handle social media when going through a divorce. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Cordry Hartman LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Evesham Township, Medford, Collingswood, and Voorhees. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 235-4511 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 68 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.