With the holidays approaching, many divorced Texas parents may be concerned about custody and visitation rights. Each parent has the right to spend time with their children during the holidays, but what if there is no legal visitation schedule in place? What rights do non-custodial parents have during this time? In order to avoid family law issues that could mean having to draft emergency documents at the last minute, it helps to be prepared.
If you don't have a holiday schedule in your settlement agreement, get one created now before the holiday rush. This may differ from the normal visitation schedule. It's also a good idea to confirm holiday plans with the other parent. Make sure you are both on the same page now because nobody wants to spend Christmas morning arguing about schedules or calling their lawyer's office.
Be flexible with schedules. The holiday may be the only time of the year that your children get to see extended family members, so make sure this is possible. Maintaining relationships with family is especially important for children to transition smoothly after a divorce. If a trip out of state is in the holiday plans, be sure to inform the other parent, since it is illegal to take children outside the state without the other parent's consent.
The holidays are supposed to be an exciting time of year, especially for children, but they can cause stress for divorced parents. Flexibility and an open mind are essential traits to have. Try to stay positive and adopt new traditions with your children. Don't let anxiety get in the way of enjoying the holidays. Although family law issues can arise, it's best to plan ahead to avoid such issues.
The Washington Times, "Nine holiday tips for divorced moms, dads, and kids" Myra Fleischer, Nov. 11, 2013