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The “Happy Holidays” of Family Law


The turkey is in the oven; the Christmas lights are about to be hung. The inflatable snowman is set up in the yard, and the cookies, well, you get the idea, it’s “Family Law”. Black Friday is less than two weeks away and may take on a different meaning for children of broken homes.

This is the worst time of year for a paralegal. It may be the worst time of the year for parents that have Temporary Orders in January and no relief in sight for Holiday parenting time disputes.

First and foremost, a refusal by the other parent to allow you parenting time with your children does not necessarily mean your attorney can file an emergency motion with the court. Statutes allow for the court to order you to pay attorneys fees for the other party if your motion is groundless or frivolous. Unfortunately, in these situations one of the parents has to bend. As much as you may not like it you may be the one who needs to give up some holiday time in order to keep the peace. Consider offering to split time evenly or offer Christmas to your spouse/other parent and offer to take Christmas Eve. It is only a temporary plan and chances are the court will order you to get the holidays the next year since you took the higher ground and gave up the time for the current year.

Also, the worst thing you can do is not allow the children to take presents with them to the other spouses/parent’s home. It is a special day for the children and should be about the children. It puts the children in the middle when you tell them they can’t take their new toy to the other parent’s home.

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