With the holidays quickly approaching, more and more clients are coming to our Long Island Divorce and Family Law firm with concerns about their holiday visitation schedule with their children. As an experienced Divorce and Family Law Attorney, I have helped many families make the most of their holidays in a way that works best for them.
Child Custody & Visitation on Long Island, NY
Child Custody of one’s children is defined as a parent’s legal right to be in charge of his or her child’s upbringing. Both parents have the legal right to request Child Custody and Visitation of their children during their pending divorce or during Family Court proceedings. If you are not awarded Custody, you may still be entitled to Visitation with your children. When deciding matters of Custody and Visitation, Long Island courts will use the “best interest of the child” standard. While it may feel like there is a presumption in favor of one parent, typically the mother, over another, this is not the case. The court will only look to the facts and circumstances of your particular case and attempt to determine what is in your child’s best interests.
The Holidays Can Be Stressful for Separated Families
The winter months are usually a very stressful time for most families. It seems that endless errands and shopping need to be done and the house is never quite ready for company. Compounding these stressors may be your Long Island Divorce or Family Court proceedings. Even if these proceedings are finalized by the time the holidays roll around, adjusting to a different schedule can really affect the holidays. For most parents, the thought of not spending each holiday with his or her children is one of the most stressful things about the season.
How to Make the Holidays Work for You & Your Family
While certainly a taxing adjustment, there are a variety of ways to make the holidays work for your family. It is important to remember that both parents are free to create any agreement which works best for you and your children. The following are a few examples of different holiday rotation schedules:
- You could follow the 12-month calendar and rotate each holiday, with you enjoying one holiday with the children and the other parent enjoying time the following holiday;
- You could switch off holidays every year, so that you would have Thanksgiving and New Years on even numbered years and the other parent would get Thanksgiving and New Years on odd numbered years;
- You could also split the holiday itself down the middle, with you getting Thanksgiving morning and the other parent enjoying Thanksgiving evening with the children; or
- You could decide on a more personalized holiday schedule with one parent enjoying Halloween with the children every year because that is his or her favorite holiday, and in exchange you would spend every Thanksgiving with them because it is your favorite holiday.
The rotation really is up to you as parents, but it is important to remember that it is your children’s holiday as well. When possible, it is best to avoid conflict in front of your children and it’s usually best practice to have a schedule figured out well in advance to avoid upsetting and/or confusing the children. If feasible, it is best to take into account their wishes as well.
Questions About Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island?
To learn more about what you need to know about Child Custody on Long Island, visit this page on Child Custody or contact us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary consultation.
Need Help Working Out a Holiday Visitation Schedule on Long Island?
If you are attempting to work out a schedule for the upcoming holidays, and have questions or concerns, please call our Long Island Divorce & Family Law Firm at 631-923-1910 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Divorce and Family Law Attorneys who can assist you in ensuring everyone enjoys their holiday.
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Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better.