At the end of each year our firm inevitably receives phone calls from divorced or separated parents asking how to handle child custody during the holiday season. This can prove to be an especially stressful and volatile issue considering most parents want to spend as much time as possible with their children on these special days.
Ideally, the parties’ custody order will specifically address which parent has custody on each holiday and will also provide specific blocks of time for each parent. For example, a common provision would direct that mother have custody of the child on Christmas on odd years while father would have custody of the child on even years. In addition, the Court might order that mother have custody on Christmas Eve every year that father has custody on Christmas Day and vice versa. In this way, the Court attempts to allocate relatively equal time for the parents to share the holidays with their children while at the same time reducing the chance for conflict by establishing a set schedule.
If you or a loved one has dealt with conflict regarding child custody around the holidays, it may be time to contact an attorney to help resolve these issues. Contact my Pittsburgh law firm, Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, for help with this matter. Resolving the problem may simply involve helping negotiate a time-share system between the parents and submitting it to the Court. Obtaining a formal Court order that establishes a set holiday schedule can help ease the stress of an already stressful time of year.