A Detailed Parenting Agreement Can Avoid Disputes About Holiday Visitation Schedules, Raleigh Child Custody Lawyer Says

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A comprehensive parenting plan should establish alternating holidays, dates and times for visitation, says Raleigh, N.C., child custody attorney Charles R. Ullman of Charles R. Ullman & Associates.

Charles R. Ullman

When establishing a holiday visitation schedule, parents should agree on key details, such as when the holiday starts and ends and how the parenting time will be shared, in order to avoid any misunderstanding that triggers a full-blown argument.

Divorced parents shouldn’t let confusion and disputes about visitation spoil the upcoming holidays with their children, Raleigh family lawyer Charles R. Ullman says.

A comprehensive parenting agreement that establishes a holiday visitation schedule, including dates and times, can go a long way towards ensuring that the holiday season is an enjoyable, stress-free time for everyone, says Ullman, the founding partner of the Raleigh family law firm of Charles R. Ullman & Associates.

“When establishing a holiday visitation schedule, parents should agree on key details, such as when the holiday starts and ends and how the parenting time will be shared, in order to avoid any misunderstanding that triggers a full-blown argument,” says Ullman, who represents clients in divorce and child custody matters.

According to the Raleigh family law attorney, most divorcing parents choose to settle custody and visitation issues out of court through a parenting agreement that is later approved by a judge. These agreements generally include provisions in which the parents agree to alternate major holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the children will be with them.

Confusion can arise when the holidays are not clearly defined, Ullman says. For instance: Does “Thanksgiving” cover only Thanksgiving Day or the entire weekend? Does “Christmas” include Christmas Eve? A parenting agreement should provide that clarity, he says.

“A parenting agreement can be as specific as you would like,” he says. “The more specific, the better when it comes to planning out holiday visitation schedules.”

For instance, the parents could agree that the holiday starts the moment the child gets out of school or daycare, or they could agree to a plan in which the child spends Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other, Ullman says.

Even with a highly detailed visitation schedule, divorced parents may need to be flexible at times during the holidays to accommodate events such as a child’s school events or visits with other family members, including out-of-town trips.

Any changes should be discussed and agreed upon well in advance, according to Ullman.

“Sometimes, you have to alter your schedule because it ultimately serves the child’s best interests. However, it’s a good idea to confirm any changes in writing. That will help to prevent any confusion,” Ullman says. “What’s important is to work with each other to make sure each of you gets to spend quality time with your children during one of the best times of the year.”

About Charles R. Ullman & Associates

The law firm of Charles R. Ullman & Associates, located on 109 S. Bloodworth St. in Raleigh, N.C., concentrates on family law, including domestic violence, divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, alimony, post-separation support and equitable distribution. Ullman is also a trained collaborative law attorney. For more information, contact the firm by calling (919) 829-1006 or use its online contact form.

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