Common Holiday Custody Issues & How to Avoid Them

Signal Mistakes Photo
A Scottsdale divorce attorney discusses options for protecting credit in divorce.

The holidays can be a time for families to come together. It can also be a time that brings strife to some, especially when custody or visitation disputes are triggered.

If you and your ex don’t share an open line of communication – and a custody or visitation issue could arise this holiday season, here are some things to know (and possibly do) in order to avoid disputes and make the holidays as smooth and happy as possible.

Overcoming Common Holiday Custody Issues
  • Issue 1: The priority of holiday time versus standard parenting time

    When this issue arises, parents should be aware that holiday visitation orders typically take priority over standard parenting days. So, if your ex typically gets your child on Friday but, per your custody agreement, you get to spend Christmas with your child, the holiday plan (i.e., the latter) will take precedence.

  • Issue 2: Changing holiday visitation

    When the set holiday visitation orders need to be changed for any reason, parents should also know that they can alter these plans on their own, as long as they can come to an agreement. Alternatively, it may be necessary to petition the court for an order changing these plans. So, if you know the holiday visitation schedule is not going to work out for you, test the waters for compromise but be ready to take the matter to court now, as the holidays are fast approaching.

  • Issue 3: Out-of-state parents

    If one parent has moved out of state and the holiday visitation orders have not been updated, additional issues can arise. For instance, covering the costs of holiday travel, potentially requesting for extensions of holiday visitation, etc. can all be issues that arise when one parent is living in another state. In these cases, it can be necessary to revisit the overall parenting/visitation plan and, in the interim, compromise or go to court to iron out what will happen for the most immediate holiday season.

  • Issue 4: Failing to abide by the holiday visitation schedule

    Another common holiday visitation issue can lie in one parent refusing to let the other parent have his or her time with the child (maybe because that parent is behind on child support, for instance). When this occurs, contact an attorney to find out more about your best recourse. One option may be to go back to court to adjust the terms of child support and/or custody.

Contact a Scottsdale Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Do you need help resolving a custody dispute – or any family legal issue? If so, you can rely on Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna