Holidays can be a tough time for New Jersey parents going through a divorce. Many parents want extra time around the holidays with the children, causing many court dockets to get backed up around this time of year. It's a good idea for parents to negotiate a parenting plan to avoid arguments about who gets to see the children on important holidays before problems occur.
Having a written parenting plan signed by both parents is a good first step. When a court issues a final order granting the divorce, a parenting plan will be issued by a judge. It's important for parents to have a plan in place that they both agree to.
The key for negotiating a successful parenting plan is reasonableness. It is likely that both parents will want to see the children on the same days. In most court orders, parents are granted equal time with the children on holidays on alternate years. Another option is split time during holidays; one parent will have visitation with the children for part of the day, and the other parent will see the children for the rest of the day.
Parents who are having trouble working things out when creating a parenting plan may want to remember that the holidays are not really about specific calendar days. Parents can make the day before or after Christmas just as special as Christmas day for their children.
When parents cannot agree on important issues in a child custody dispute, a divorce lawyer may be able to help. A lawyer may be able to help their clients convince a judge that the client should be granted custody of the children. When one parent is awarded custody, the other parent is usually awarded reasonable visitation rights that include equal visitation time during important holidays.