The holiday season is always different after a divorce. If you have joint custody of your child, you may be wondering exactly how different the holidays will be. Most Ohio counties have local domestic relations rules which lay out a standard guide for holidays that can be modified based upon your specific situation.
Which holidays you spend with your child often depends upon whether or not it is an even or odd year. If no special arrangements have been made between the divorced parents, most local rules will provide that the parties will alternate the following holidays year to year:
Some holiday schedules may include other holidays, such as President’s Day or Beggar’s Night. Depending on the parties’ circumstances (particularly in long distance cases), some holiday schedules might address fewer holidays. The only holidays that tend not to alternate year over year are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which are always spent with the respective parent.
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Exchanges may not always be pleasant, especially with young children and during emotional times like the holidays. There are a few easy-to-follow general guidelines that can help make sure that exchanges are as seamless as possible for the children involved:
Although exceptions do occur, courts have generally found that it is in the best interest of the child to uphold as much civility as possible during exchanges, and to make sure all scheduled time with either parent is respected.
In the event that one parent should have to cancel or forfeit their respective time with the child, 24 hours notice should be given and arrangements should be made. Continuous forfeiture of time might lead to a modification of the custody order.
A child and parent should also not wait longer than 30 minutes for a late parent during a custody exchange. Any longer than that amount of time might result in a forfeit of time that is not subject to be made up, unless prior arrangements have been made and agreed upon.
If you’re interested in exploring your options for joint custody or amending your current visitation schedule, contact a family law attorney from Babbitt and Dahlberg today. We’re here to help.