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Managing holiday visitation schedules after divorce

Visitation decisions in Florida courts can be tough for families during the holidays. Parents may feel a sense of grief over a broken relationship, and being apart from their children may make this even more challenging. At the same time, children may struggle emotionally when they are apart from one parent in order to spend time with the other. Nonetheless, parents can work toward visitation arrangements that accommodate the children's feelings while also addressing parental interests.

Negotiation can provide parents with an opportunity to address their own interests while also validating those of the other party. Those who can work together cordially may be the most successful at negotiating visitation schedules and parenting plans. However, it is still necessary to have a written agreement to ensure that the terms are clear and that they will be enforceable as the divorce action concludes.

If there is excessive difficulty in working together to achieve a solution, the matter of parenting time may be decided by a judge. In this case, holidays may be assigned on an alternating schedule from year to year. Each parent would take turns having their children on important dates. Another approach that could be used is splitting time on these holidays.

Parents who are just beginning to deal with a breakup might want to work on a parenting plan from the outset. This may help everyone to adjust as formal proceedings begin. However, it is necessary to formalize these decisions to ensure that they can be enforced if necessary.

A couple that is able to work well together might consider collaborative divorce for dealing with parenting plans, financial arrangements, and property division. A lawyer might be able to help a divorcing spouse to negotiate visitation rights with the other parent.

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