Don't spoil the New Jersey holidays with child custody problems | Lane & Lane, LLC
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Don't spoil the New Jersey holidays with child custody problems

New Jersey parents involved in an ongoing child custody dispute may want to start advanced planning for the upcoming holiday season. Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year for a variety of reasons, but adding in an acrimonious split and topping it with child custody problems can tip a holiday dinner from lukewarm into explosive. Fortunately, there are options for parents who are required to split up visitation time once the children are out of school for the holidays.

One of the first and easiest options is to drag out the custody agreement. Often this agreement already addresses visitation time during the holidays. Looking this document over and gently reminding the other parent about their allowed time can stop a fight in its tracks. Both parents may want to strive to know their required duties and visitation times.

Sometimes, in spite of a parent's best efforts, the agreement as written does not suit every divorce or custody case. When this happens, parents can either choose to continue communicating with each other about different visitation times, seek professional mediation if they are unable to successfully communicate or seek the intervention of a family court if they are ultimately unable to come to an agreement. Although going to court may seem drastic, it could ultimately result in a more suitable custody agreement that everyone can live with.

New Jersey parents don't have to stress about child custody or visitation if the schedule is worked out in advance. This is one benefit of communication, especially if the relationship is rocky. Encouraging the child to spend holidays with both of the parents is a good way to foster amicable family relationships and get the season off to a great start. However, for families unable to agree on matters of visitation or other custody issues, mediation could be a good first step. If that is unsuccessful, families can seek legal help in order to come to a fair agreement for both the children and parents.

Source: The Washington Times Communities, "Divorced families can still enjoy happy holidays with a little planning," Myra Fleischer, Nov. 21, 2012

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