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Managing custody during the holidays

One of the hallmarks of the holiday season is the chance to spend extra time with family. For those in Tavares that are going through a divorce, that tradition will no doubt change in the future. Divorcing parents might tremble at the thought of having to fight for time with their kids during the holidays. Yet state family courts discourage such discord. Rather than imposing a holiday custody schedule on parents that will no doubt lead to contention, couples are instructed to come up with their own standards for special custodial situations in their parenting plans. 

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of 2013, as many as 22.1 million children lived apart from a biological parent. That represents the potential for a lot of holiday tension. Yet holiday visitation need not be a zero sum game; just as the court recognizes it to be in a child's best interest for both of their parents to be involved in their lives, so too is seen to be beneficial that they spend time with both around the holidays. 

The Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form offers four options to parents in arranging their custody schedules around their children's Winter Break. These include: 

  • One parent having custody of the children during the first part of Winter Break, with the other having custody during the latter part (with the schedule rotating every year)
  • One parent having custody of the children throughout the entire Winter Break on even numbered years, with the other having custody for the same time on odd numbered years
  • Parents agreeing to have custody on specific Winter Break holidays

The fourth option is whatever agreement divorcing parents are able to come up with on their own. The court will take note of (and may oppose), however, any potentially unbalanced proposals.

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131 West Main Street
Tavares, FL 32778

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