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Navigating visitation in New York, especially during the holidays

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Family Law

Children frequently find themselves at the center of a family law case in New York. During the divorce, this will center on child custody and visitation rights. Once the custody determination is made, it does not necessarily mean that the disagreements are in the rear-view mirror. Parents can still face challenges, even after the court case is over. That includes adhering to the visitation plan and being flexible if changes are needed.

Both parents should understand and be protected with visitation plans

From the start, knowing what the courts will consider with all aspects of the family law case is vital. Regarding visitation (or parenting time as it is sometimes called), the noncustodial parent will need to know when and for how long they will have the child. The child’s safety and best interests are assessed beforehand, but if it is safe, the child will see both parents regularly. The court order can say when it will take place, how the exchange is made and how holidays and vacations and handled.

Parents are advised to adhere to the custody and visitation order. If there is a justifiable reason why it cannot be followed, this must be discussed with the other parent. When there is a violation without explanation, the court can change it. The parent who willfully disregards it may be held in contempt.

Parents have options with holidays. Of course, if they are on good terms, they can negotiate on their own and be flexible. Still, it may be useful to have a plan in place. That can be based on odd or even years where the custodial parent could possibly have the child for their Christmas break with the other parent having the child for the new year. They could simply follow the plan that is in place during the rest of the year. Or they may craft their own schedule.

Because people are of different belief systems, and religions may have divergent goals, it does not necessarily need to be based on a Christmas and Thanksgiving schedule. There are myriad ways to create a workable visitation plan and showing a willingness to work with the other parent can be positive in the long run.

For visitation and other family law matters, qualified help can make a major impact

People in Patchogue are family-oriented and want to spend as much time with their children as possible. This includes the holidays. Because divorce and the necessary adaptation to the new normal can be difficult, it is imperative to try and keep conflict to a minimum and have a reasonable visitation plan that accounts for the holiday season. In some cases, it is possible to negotiate and be reasonable. In others, the lingering aftermath of the breakdown of the marriage proves to be too complicated to work together.

When trying to craft a visitation plan, the child’s best interests will obviously come to the forefront. During the holiday season, the parents must try to find solutions with the child in mind. This will include thinking about the celebrations that are coming soon and those that will take place in subsequent years.

Part of reaching an acceptable result is having the legal protection of experienced professionals. Before making the mistake of letting emotions get involved, it is wise to think about what would be good for the child, what the parents want and to try and reach an equitable resolution. This can be part of a visitation template or it can have reasonable exchanges to ensure the child and the parents are satisfied.

For this or any other aspect of family law, having advice from a professional who has extensive experience with child custody, visitation and more can make a significant difference. Calling for advice and doing so quickly can head off any discord that can sully the holiday season and sour the relationship in the coming years.