Holiday Season and How to Avoid Problems

The Holiday Season is here and my office usually has to assist a client or two in getting what was already ordered. We have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas break coming up and you need to plan ahead.

First, for all clients that have holiday orders this paragraph is for you. Review your orders to verify that the holiday is specifically stated in your orders or an order regarding Monday Holidays. This Halloween falls on Monday, so if there is a Monday holiday order and an order for Halloween, the order for Halloween would apply. This is a standard construction of the orders priority – regular visitation, specific holiday orders, general holiday orders, vacation that is noticed in advance. After reviewing the orders and determining the days that you have custody, then give detailed notice to the other party as to when, where, and how the holiday will be exercised. If it applies, include that an expense (airline tickets, train, or whatever) is going to be created and you will wait a week before expending the funds and if there is no response you will take that as their acceptance. The court will prefer that you gave notice and gave a period of time for them to accept or object prior to expending the funds. As you may be able to tell, if we have to go to court we want to be right and prevail regarding attorney fees as a sanction for their bad acts.

Second, if there are no orders that apply then you have a problem. First, attempt to get an agreement and then affirm the agreement by way of a written stipulation. It takes two months to go to court so you must act quickly if that is the only way to get an agreement. Furthermore, mediation is another venue but it is not mandatory to reach a decision so it may not work.

Thus, get out those school calendars and your work calendar and plan for the holidays. The holidays are not about the expensive gifts, it is about time with our children, which is precious to all parents. Too bad the courts do not think that Fathers value anything but money, but my office knows the truth.