"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'" - Jeff Foxworthy
For us lucky ones families and holidays go hand in hand. Presently, the holidays are in full swing. No doubt about that. This time of year is fun, filled with family gatherings, school breaks, and for divorced parents navigating holiday schedules.
There are several approaches to holiday parenting time that ex-spouses utilize. Some parents choose to strictly abide by the sample/model schedule provided by the Court. In Kentucky the model parenting time schedule suggests that during the first year post divorce that the noncustodial parent receives ample parenting time/visitation during the holidays. After the first year the model schedule states that alternating years should be implemented. This works for many families. For others, it leaves both parents and children less than thrilled. While their new reality is that time must be split, there is a sense to many folks that the confines of a court order is not what they had pictured. And that their lives are dictated by a piece of paper. The model schedule is a good frame work, it certainly take the guess work out of coordinating time. However, I do not think it is the end all be all.
In an ideal world both parties would work seamlessly together to insure that any children in common have an opportunity to spend time with each parent. Furthermore, parents would be flexible and compromise, keeping in mind that the end goal is to make their children happy. However, we do not live in an ideal world. Clients often come to me because they are exhausted from the annual back and forth that can leave both parties drained, frustrated, and no lasting resolution.
One source of stress and confusion surrounding holiday parenting schedules is the divorce decree and custody agreement itself. Some divorcing spouses think that they can work together and consciously leave specific language addressing holiday schedule out of their divorce decree. Often I find that what appears to be "flexible" language leads to frustration and one parent finds themselves in a power struggle with their ex spouse. Not good. I am not saying there are not divorced spouses out there that work perfectly fine with ambiguous holiday schedule language. i.e. "both parties shall communicate prior to the holidays regarding parenting time to ensure that the children spend appropriate time with each parent." But for most it just does not work.
Our office is able to help you construct a holiday parenting time schedule. Whether that means both parents coming to the table to reach an agreement or one parent motioning the court to establish a detailed schedule. Every family has different needs. Our office is able to answer any of your questions regarding parenting time and holiday schedules. Please call 859-982-9557 or email [email protected]