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How should one approach changing a holiday child custody plan?

Starting with Thanksgiving until we ring in the New Year, the holidays can be a magical time in California, especially for children. In between the feasting, gift-giving and celebrations that occur between now and the New Year, it is a busy time of year, one that is rooted in tradition. However, that tradition could get disrupted if a child's parents divorce.

Parents, of course, want to protect their child's interests as much as possible when they divorce. When it comes to divorce and the holidays, a holiday parenting schedule may be already laid out in the parents' child custody order. This may have been negotiated and agreed upon by the parents out of court, or it could be developed by a judge in court. In either case, it is important to review that plan to avoid any unwanted surprises.

First, parents need to take a look at their parenting plan to see when they'll have their child in their care. If, for some reason, this plan won't work, a parent can discuss the situation with their ex or bring the matter to court. Parents should be specific and honest about what parts of the plan they want to change and why. Of course, keep in mind that just because a request for modification is made does not mean it will be granted.

In the end, compromise is often key to any child custody negotiations. Both sides might need to make concessions and take a moment to consider the other party's point of view. In the end, any changes made to a holiday child custody plan should be done in a manner that is in the child's best interests, so that everyone has a happy holiday.

Source: the spruce, "How to Negotiate a Joint-Custody Holiday Schedule," Jennifer Wolf, Nov. 20, 2017

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