The Holidays are fast approaching and most Delaware families are looking forward to spending quality time with family and friends. However, for many parents, the Holiday Season means stress and contention surrounding their custody and visitation schedule. The following steps can assist you in avoiding, or at least reducing, conflict over holiday custody and visitation schedules.
1. If you have an existing Custody and Visitation Order in the State of Delaware, take the time each January and September to review the provisions regarding Holiday and Special Day Visitation. The Order tells you how holidays will be split for the entire year.
2. If your relationship with your co-parent permits, send an e-mail, or other written form of communication, stating your view of the upcoming schedule for each holiday as early in the year as possible. If you cannot communicate with your co-parent, or prefer not to, ask your attorney to handle the communication.
3. If a conflict arises over a specific holiday or exchanges times, attempt to resolve the matter with your co-parent first. Be mindful that you may need to be flexible with your co-parent regarding specific dates and times to insure that your co-parent affords you the same treatment.
4. If, after discussion with your co-parent, the dispute is not resolved in a timely manner, do not wait until the week of the holiday in dispute to ask for help. The Delaware Family Court has a heavy caseload and will likely not be able to hear your holiday visitation request if it is filed only a week or two before the holiday.
5. If you do not already have an Order in place regarding Holiday Visitation, and only after you have consulted with an experienced Delaware Family Law attorney, you should consider filing an action in The Delaware Family Court to request that the Court issue an Order on Holiday Visitation.
Marie I. Crossley, Esquire | MacElree Harvey, Ltd.
Family Law Attorney
5721 Kennett Pike | Centreville, DE 19807
Office: 302.654.4454 | Fax: 302.654.4954