The holidays can be a very special time for parents and their children. All throughout Arizona families will celebrate a myriad of festivities, share in the giving of food and gifts and will have more time than they normally do to simply enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, though, children of divorce and those other children who are also subject to child custody orders and agreements may not have the opportunity to spend much time with both of the parents they love.
When one parent has sole physical custody of a child then that parent may have more power to dictate where the child spends his holidays. The noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, but if special provisions for time together during the holidays were not set forth in the custody agreement, order or parenting plan then the noncustodial parent may have to wait until a later time to see his child.
Parents who share joint physical custody of their kids may work out different arrangements for the holidays that serve the children’s needs. For example, some parents may alternate which holidays the kids spend with them; others may have the kids spend half of the holiday with one parent and then travel to the other parent’s home for the remainder of the day.
In sum, a parent’s ability to spend the holidays with his kids will often be based on the type of physical custody that he has and the arrangements he has made in the controlling child custody order, agreement or parenting plan. However, parents who require changes to be made to these documents may wish to seek court-approved modifications to them. There can be no guarantee that a court will grant a request for a parent to spend the holidays with his child, but when the best interests of the child may be served by the modification there is generally an argument to be made for its execution.