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Child custody, mediation and dealing with holiday visitation

| Jun 18, 2021 | Child Custody & Parenting Time

As the summer approaches in New York, parents will prepare for vacations and leisure activities with their children. This is complicated after a divorce and child custody and visitation can be in dispute. Since the past year-plus has been so difficult in general with the ongoing circumstances still limiting the options for travel and enjoyment outside the home, parents will be enthusiastic about spending the summer with their kids. However, disagreements may arise with how the parenting time will be allocated. For parents who are in the middle of a divorce proceeding or are trying to navigate the difficult terrain of child custody and visitation for the summer and holidays, having experienced and comprehensive help can be essential.

Visitation and setting a schedule

Planning a visitation schedule will be based on various factors. Barring allegations of abuse or the child being in danger, it is preferable for the child to have a relationship with both parents. The custody arrangement and visitation schedule will focus on the child’s best interests. Parents can come to an agreement on their own. If that is not possible, the court will need to make the decision. At the hearing, there can be witnesses and, in some instances, a caseworker.

In the middle of a dispute, parents might discount the benefits of mediation. While it is not for everyone, some – even those who still harbor acrimony from the marriage – could find common ground for the child’s sake and agree on their own without court intervention. With mediation, there will be the parents and the mediator. The mediator is specifically trained to facilitate agreement, if possible. Seeking common ground, helping the participants be flexible and providing evenhanded guidance can be more effective than people expect and be useful to agree on a custody and visitation plan. It is completely voluntary.

With summer and holiday child custody, comprehensive protection is key

Westchester couples who are middle to upper class will look forward to a relaxing time with family. If there has been a divorce with children from the marriage, that can include a desire to have significant summer visitation. Child custody and parenting time issues can be fraught. While trading days such as one parent having the child for Christmas vacation and the other for Thanksgiving can be accomplished, it might be harder in the summer when the child has more time off from school, the weather is agreeable and there are myriad available activities. Whether the parties are relatively amicable or are on problematic terms, it is useful to understand the alternatives. Experienced and knowledgeable professionals can be helpful with all areas of a family law case and should be consulted with when deciding how to proceed.