Many parents don’t like dealing with visitation issues – especially around the holidays. Sticking your neck in the sand, however, doesn’t fix the problem and only guarantees bigger problems to come. Like most divorce lawyers, I get the usual calls just one or two days before Christmas. And that’s where the problem begins. All courts require notice to the other parent, when you’re bringing a motion to protect your holiday time with a child. Two days before the holiday doesn’t cut it, and certainly not when its the Friday before. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The number one way to fix visitation issues is to be proactive. Getting angry and waiting for another year to pass to correct the past wrong isn’t the way to fix anything. If anything, you have empowered the other parent to do as they please – without ramification. Being proactive doesn’t have to be expensive. Simple motions to get make-up time or to set some additional ground rules can be easily done pro se (which means, you acting as your own attorney). Holiday visitation is coveted by Judges, and you won’t need a lawyer to protect your rights to see your children on a special day. Many formalities are tossed out in favor of ensuring both parents get to spend time with the children – nothing wrong with that!
Keeping vigilant is the number one way to keep the other parent acting appropriately. Being idle only allows wounds to fester and resentment will grow. As any counselor would advise, this is the recipe for disaster. So, keep things in check and avoid last minute court activity. Your time would be better spent getting that shopping done or enjoying that valuable time with a loved one during the holiday.