Tis the season for holiday parenting time disputes. Whether it is Chanukah, Christmas or New Years, there is plenty to fight about this time of year.
There are some steps you can take to improve your chances of getting your holiday time with your children this year.
In New Jersey, every county provides a holiday schedule, which lists all of the major holidays and equally divides and alternates those holidays. If your final judgment of divorce or custody order does not attach the schedule, make sure that you get a schedule from your attorney or from the court. If you can’t reach an agreement with the parent of your child and if you file an application before the court for holiday time, in the vast majority of the cases, the court will simply issue an order adopting the county holiday schedule.
If you already have a court order that includes a holiday schedule, but you are worried that the other parent will not follow the order, try to identify in advance whether or not you will have a problem and try to get proof that the other parent intends to withhold your holiday time. If you know in advance that you will be dealing with a problem, you can contact the court and ask the court to compel the other parent to allow you to see your child on the holiday. New Jersey courts do understand the importance and value of holiday time and these applications will often be heard on short notice. Keep in mind, though, that there are many individuals with holiday disputes and it is best to file an application for holiday time as soon as you know that you have an actual dispute.