Divorced parents in Texas may want to get an early start at finalizing a parenting schedule for the holidays. Regardless of whether one parent has sole custody or whether they have joint child custody, children will want to spend time with both parents. With the four big holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years — all falling within a nine week period, proper planning may avoid disappointment.
This is a very busy time for courts, and considering the process, an early filing may be wise. Having a motion drafted and scheduled already takes time, and then the other parent may want to respond before you can get a hearing date, and waiting too long can jeopardize all your plans. Negotiating with an ex-spouse may be easier if all four holidays are on the table. Waiting until there is only one or two left may complicate negotiations.
Waiting until Dec. 23 to bargain to have the children for Christmas Day or Christmas Eve may also be too late. Also, changing plans at the last moment will not only be difficult to accomplish, but it will also be unfair. These holidays often involve family gatherings, and with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all invited, one cannot really expect the other parent to change it all at the last moment.
The last reason — but certainly not the least — is the children who need to know with whom they are going to spend which holiday. The holidays are often stressful for divorced parents and their children, and proper planning well in advance can relieve the stress of all those involved. A consultation with an experienced child custody attorney to start preparing a motion and have it scheduled in a Texas court soon may lead to happy holidays for both parents and children.
Source: goodmenproject.com, “5 Reasons to Get a Jump on Your Holiday Parenting Schedule“, Karen Covy, Oct. 21, 2015