Divorce, with Children:  “Home for the Holidays”


I think it is safe to say that for all of us, young and old, the Holidays are emotionally loaded, even without divorce being an issue.  With divorce in the mix, things can become difficult.

In new divorce cases, the holidays usually result in a flurry of phone calls to the attorneys about this or that time-sharing problem.  Unfortunately, that also sometimes happens in “old” divorce cases with children for some time after the divorce decree is signed.  The thing to keep in mind is that the child should not be placed in the middle of a tug-of-war game.  While a divorce is difficult for the parents, it can be even more so for the children stuck in the middle.  As a parent just getting into a divorce, you may benefit from learning how to avoid conflict with the other parent.  This will help you, but most important, it will help the child as he/she gets used to the new family dynamics.

At least in Florida, the failure of the parties to agree to a holiday time-sharing schedule is generally not an emergency that will be addressed on short notice by a court.  Even when you are able to go before the court with sufficient time, it makes sense to try to avoid it if you are able to come to some sort of agreement.

For couples with children new to the Florida divorce process, it makes sense to try to agree on a fair time-sharing schedule on a temporary basis until such time as the issue is decided permanently, either by the court or by the parties in an agreement.

In considering what is fair, it’s good to keep in mind what’s in the best interest of the child or children, not just what each parent wants.  The focus on the child may make it easier for the parties to come up with a schedule that works for everyone, despite the emotional aspects of this issue.

© 2009-20014 Vivian C. Rodriguez

Vivian C. Rodriguez is a divorce and paternity attorney in Florida. For more articles about Florida family law visit Florida Family Law Articles or our Miami Divorce Paternity Blog.

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