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While traditionally thought of as a time of family unity and joyous get-togethers, the holiday season can be particularly rough for parents and children of divorce. In addition to triggering feelings of loneliness, this time of year can be made even more stressful due to the difficulty many couples encounter when attempting to coordinate an acceptable custody or visitation schedule. Fortunately, deciding how your child will spend the holiday season does not have to turn into a major battle.

To minimize conflict and foster cooperation when negotiating a holiday visitation schedule for your child, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  1. Start early: The longer you wait to plan your child’s schedule, the greater your chances will be of encountering a dispute. Planning early will help you identify any potential conflicts you may have with your ex-spouse and allow you to work them out ahead of time.
  2. Be willing to compromise: If a certain date or holiday has particular importance to your ex-spouse, such as a trip to see family during New Year’s, be willing to work with them and negotiate a fair trade. The more flexibility you show, the more likely your ex-spouse will be to extend you the same courtesy when an important issue comes up.
  3. Write it down: When a suitable arrangement is reached, be sure to get it in writing and have it signed by you and your ex, including details such as dates, times, and places where custody will change hands. If your ex fails to adhere to this agreement, this document will be able to be used as evidence later on in your favor.
  4. Think of your kids: The holidays are a time setting aside differences in the name of peace and goodwill. Be good for goodness’ sake! While you and your ex may no longer see eye to eye, coming together and being civil can be a great gift to your children.

Unfortunately, we all know that no amount of planning can help us prepare for issues that are beyond our control. If you should encounter difficulty negotiating a visitation schedule with your child’s other parent, or if they should violate their court-ordered visitation or custody arrangement, contact the Miami family law lawyers at Mitchell & West LLC today. Our award-winning team of advocates can assert your legal rights and guide you and your spouse towards the most amicable solution possible.

Call (305) 783-3301 or contact us online today to find out more about how we can help.

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