By James S. Margulis, Esq.
It's that time of the year again. Lights are being strung from rooftops and on Christmas trees, stores are crowded with eager present-buying shoppers, and family gatherings are a-plenty. The holiday season is in full swing. Though the holidays are a happy time for many, for those families going through a divorce, separation, or a child custody battle, and even those who already have already gone through those processes, the holidays can be a painful time.
One of the many issues that divorced and separated couples face is the decision of how their children should spend the holidays. Some parents have Custody and Visitation Orders that outline their children's holiday schedule; other parents just go on good will, deciding between them each year as to how a child's time may be allocated over the holidays. Still other families may be currently struggling through the process of figuring these issues out.
If you already have Orders in place, take the time to read through them again and familiarize yourself with the holiday plan. If you're not happy with the way your child spends the holidays, or if the circumstances have changed, it may be time to call an attorney and discuss modifying your custody order. Modification of a custody order in Colorado is based on a substantial change in circumstances wherein the current order is no longer in the best interest of the children. A party may only file for a modification of custody if two years have passed, unless an emergency exists.
If you are currently going through a divorce or custody battle, make sure to address how your child will spend the holidays. This will save you time and money in the long run. Be aware, however, that circumstances may change; people move and children grow up. What you decide now as a plan for the holidays may need to be reexamined and changed in the future.
Every parent should get a chance to spend time with their child over the holidays. Although it may be too late to change your child's custody agreement for this year's holiday season, don't let yourself get stuck in the same position next year.
If you are currently dealing with a custody or visitation matter and would like to discuss modifying your custody order, or need the assistance of a Colorado family law attorney, please call the Feldmann Nagel, LLC Domestic Group call at (303) 813-1200.