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Holiday Parenting Time Disputes in DuPage County

 Posted on October 18, 2022 in Child Custody

naperville child custody lawyerHolidays with customs and ceremonies are a time of annual celebration and enjoyment among family and friends. Some observe religious holidays, which are fundamental to spiritual reflection and family tradition. Others enjoy secular celebrations. Regardless of the type of celebration involved, divorced parents navigating parenting time during holidays and birthdays can sometimes experience anxiety and disputes. A parenting plan should always include strict specifications for parenting time during holidays and birthdays. 

If one parent feels holiday parenting time is inequitable, a family law attorney can negotiate and draft a modification to the parenting plan. A family law attorney can also help enforce a parenting plan.

Six Common Parenting Time Disputes during Holidays

  • Inequality of holiday parenting time – When a parenting plan does not include detailed specifications on holiday schedules, including parenting time and allocation of holidays, a modification may be necessary. If the parenting plan contains such provisions, each parent must adhere to the plan.
  • Gift giving – Contention may arise between the parents if one gives their child more expensive and extravagant gifts than the other. A parent who gifts their child a moderate birthday gift may feel threatened that the other, more indulgent parent spoils their child to be the favorite parent.  
  • Travel – Traveling between two households during a holiday may cause conflict between the ex-spouses as the transportation time may infringe on their own celebrations and parenting time. Traveling long distances by plane to the likes of a grandparents’ home during the holidays may also be argued by the contesting parent as an unequal amount of parenting time.
  • Prevent parenting time – A parent who obstructs their ex-spouse from spending a holiday with their child will only intensify disputes. If scheduled parenting time is stipulated in the parenting plan, the offending parent may face legal repercussions.
  • Noncompliance with punctuality – Unless there are extenuating circumstances, like being stuck in a snowstorm, each parent should adhere to the prearranged schedule. Refusal to promptly return a child to their other parent on time and according to the provisions stipulated in the parenting plan can result in legal challenges.      
  • Religious observance – One parent may refute the significance and observation of the other parent’s religious holiday and may thwart their child from attending church, temple, or mosque for that holiday. Infringing on the religious rights of a parent and their child’s religious upbringing may also necessitate modification or enforcement of a parenting plan.

Tips for Harmonious Parenting Time during Holidays

Consider the following tips for reducing stress and contention during the holiday season: 

  • Communication – Communicate your wishes with your ex-spouse and encourage them to do the same. For older children, inquire about their wishes and allow them to be part of the holiday schedule decision-making process.

  • Double the celebrations - Celebrate each holiday twice. For example, schedule the child's Thanksgiving celebration with one parent on Thanksgiving Day and with the other parent on the day after Thanksgiving.  

  • Alternate the holidays – Take turns celebrating the holidays by alternating each year. One year, you could celebrate Christmas with your child, while your ex-spouse is entitled to that holiday the following year.  

  • Divide the holiday – Allow the child to spend half the day with each parent. For instance, the child could spend their birthday with one parent in the afternoon and the other in the evening. 

  • Designate preference – An ex-spouse might place greater importance on one holiday over the other, especially if the holiday has religious significance. Also, long-standing family traditions may be associated with a holiday you do not necessarily celebrate, like an ex-spouse's extended annual family camping trip over the 4th of July.

  • Compromise the holidays – Make a deal with your ex-spouse about which holidays you want parenting time. If you both covet Christmas vacation with your child, suggest allotting Easter vacation and Memorial Day to your ex-spouse in exchange for the Christmas holiday.  

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

At Pesce Law Group P.C., a full-service family law firm, our dependable child custody attorneys understand and are sympathetic to the needs of our clients. We are committed to finding peaceful resolutions. Adept at enforcing parenting plans and creating modifications, our divorce attorneys are dedicated and diligent advocates for family law matters. To minimize parenting time disputes over the holidays, contact a Naperville divorce attorney at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation.



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