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All Press Releases for October 03, 2012 »
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Child Custody During the Holidays: Tips for Texans Facing Divorce

Learn more about what you need to do in order to keep the holidays special for your children after divorce.
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    October 03, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A steaming turkey dinner bathed in rich gravy. Getting tucked in to multicolored lights winking on and off against the darkness. In the morning, little feet padding down the stairs in rapid syncopation, hurried in anticipation of presents.

For young and old alike, the holidays can be a magical time. But particularly for children, holiday gatherings and traditions have special meaning.

These days, it is not always possible to hold the type of idyllic holiday events many of us remember from our own childhoods. The world has changed, and today's parents do not often benefit from a neat, prepackaged notion of family structure; families working through a divorce often struggle with making appropriate arrangements for the holidays.

But, just because it may be difficult does not mean you can ignore or put off planning for the holidays after your marriage has ended. On the contrary, you owe it to your children to make carefully thought-out arrangements, plans that will allow them to look back fondly on the holidays of their youth for the rest of their lives.

Keep the Holidays Merry For Your Children by Eliminating Legal Vagueness

Never shying from uniqueness, the Lone Star State's official term for child custody is "conservatorship." Although individual situations may vary widely, typically the parent awarded primary conservatorship of the child will have around 63 percent of the parenting time. In a standard arrangement, the other parent would then have weekend visitation and a month with the child in the summer.

But what about holidays and special occasions? These days are usually split between the parents. However, "split" is a vague word, and dividing holiday time can be a minefield without an appropriate framework in place. Where and how a child will spend his or her holidays after the divorce deserves careful consideration as well as precise, clear agreement.

It is not enough for parents to simply agree that holidays will be split. A complete custody and visitation agreement needs to spell out exactly which holidays will be spent with each parent. Furthermore, "special occasions" that may not fall on a calendar holiday should be well-defined. Compromises, like alternating years between parents for a particular holiday, have to be written into the agreement in language that is not open to personal interpretation; imprecise language can lead to bitter disputes down the road.

Travel arrangements should also be contemplated in the custody and visitation agreement. Finally, for longer holiday stays with the non-custodial parent, it is important to address the child's activities and living arrangements.

Get a Precise, Effective Agreement by Calling an Experienced Fort Worth Attorney

Precision and completeness are the hallmarks of a good custody arrangement that will help get you through the holidays as smoothly as possible. While overly rigid requirements may be a concern, remember that as the children grow and things change, it is possible to modify existing custody or visitation arrangements to fit evolving circumstances. In all likelihood, you'll find that modifying arrangements as necessary proves to be more productive than having to argue about the meaning of language in the original agreement.

Of course, your children are the key consideration around the holidays. You want to do what is best for them, and part of that is ensuring a smooth, conflict-free visitation schedule that does not diminish the spirit of the holidays. To learn more about crafting a custody and visitation agreement that will fully satisfy your needs, talk to a board-certified Texas family law specialist today.

Article provided by Law Offices of Bob Leonard, Jr.
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