When you’re looking for “family lawyers near me,” it might have to do with modifying your existing parenting arrangements or because you’re entering divorce proceedings and want to know how you and your ex-spouse will handle holidays and summer vacations. This is an issue that will be determined during the dissolution of the marriage. If you and the other parent can come to terms that you both deem fair, the court might approve these terms “as is.” But if you’re unable to get on the same page, the court steps in and will look at various factors to determine the best outcome for all parties involved, especially for the children.
Colorado Courts and Parenting Time
Colorado courts must generally evaluate the child’s best interests as their underlying foundation for making any child custody or visitation arrangements. A child’s best interest will vary from one family to another, but the underlying considerations will be the same. Judges look at the current living arrangements and dynamics to decide what kinds of parenting time to recommend. Both parents will have a vested interest in how the judge reviews and perceives this, as it could reflect the outcome of your child custody arrangements.
Of course, if you and the other parent can agree to terms on your own, you’re much more likely to get a flexible parenting plan that aligns with the needs of your family. But suppose you cannot agree, or you are afraid that anything your spouse would agree to would block your important parenting time options. In that case, you might want to seek out “family lawyers near me” in the search engines online to find an experienced Colorado family lawyer as soon as possible.
How to Arrange Holidays
Often, judges will split holidays or alternate them from one year to another or within a year. For example, on a split arrangement, your children might spend the morning of Christmas with you but the afternoon with the other parent. With alternating years, you might get the whole day of Christmas this year but will exchange that with the other parent the next year. Of course, it can be hard to determine the arrangement that will work best for you, especially if you have a blended family or other family-related events planned.
If you can cooperate with the other parent, you might be able to add some flexibility to any court-ordered rules. Still, the best way to protect yourself is to document your parenting time agreement in written form.
Some alternative arrangements for sharing holidays include:
- Spending the day with one parent and the night with the other;
- Working with the other parent to celebrate big holidays on different days, such as commemorating Easter one Sunday with one parent and Easter with the other parent the following week;
- Designating consistent holidays for each parent. This works when one parent always wants the kids on New Year’s Eve or some other day, but it’s not as important to you;
- Or simply sticking with your regular parenting time schedule regardless of when the holidays fall.
You might also want to document issues related to vacation. For example, if both parents work and have different schedules and times to take a vacation, it would be wise to build in a regular time or expectation that you’ll want to take the kids on vacation at a particular time. For example, you know that each spring you want to head off to California to see family. If you decide this usually happens in April or May, you can include that in your parenting time agreement so that there is less likely to be disagreement later on about violating someone’s parenting time.
If you and the other parent can work together, this might offer more flexibility for both parties as you discuss potential vacation plans to see if they’ll be on board to support you. Try to interfere with as little of their parenting time as possible or propose some extra days you could give up before or after the vacation to make up for this.
Documentation is vital. It will help you minimize arguments and misunderstandings as you plan for holidays and vacations. It protects you because it’s a written plan that you can always turn to. However, the more you try to limit and stick to the document, the more difficult it is to deviate from that plan. If you and the other parent cannot offer one another options and flexibility, a rigid document will lock you in.
Most parents in Colorado who start their divorce by looking for “family lawyers near me” decide that some arrangement in the middle is best. They’ll have a basic plan for holidays and vacation and then make alterations as needed by communicating with the other parent. If this applies to you, set aside time to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer in Colorado. The sooner you talk with a lawyer, the better you’ll understand these kinds of issues as you move forward.
How The Drake Law Firm, PC Can Assist with Your Parenting Agreement Process
Determining how you and your former spouse will spend holidays and summer vacation time with your children can be difficult. At The Drake Law Firm, our family law attorneys have the proper experience and knowledge to guide you through, while minimizing or avoiding the pain and emotional trauma. Let us help you find solutions that are in the best interests of your children.
If you’re searching for a “lawyer for divorce near me” to assist with your parenting arrangements, we can help. Contact our team at the Drake Law Firm today at 303-261-8111 to schedule your initial consultation.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.