december is a holiday season for most families to spend time together.
However, in separated couples it may not be the same. Issues such as where children would spend their Christmas would usually become a fervent point of conflict between separated couples.
In dealing with family matters concerning the visitation rights of a child, separated couples are highly encouraged to reach a private agreement as to where their child would spend Christmas. Filing for orders should only be regarded as a last resort when all efforts to reach an agreement have been exhausted. The purpose is to minimize the large number of cases filed before the court every Christmas and provide speedy disposition of other family law cases.
When distance is an impending factor for parents to reach for an agreement, parents can agree that each year the child spends Christmas with just one parent in an alternating manner. When distance is not a problem, it is common for the parents to split Christmas Eve and Christmas morning between them so the child can share the Christmas excitement with both parents.
However, in an event where it is very impossible for couples to reach a private agreement because of an impending conflict or because of existing family violence, the court will render a decision upholding the principle that it is in the best interest of the child. The court will also give paramount consideration to the protection of the child from violence or abuse, in relation to the equal share responsibility of both parents.
At some point, issues involving the visitation rights of a child can give rise to abduction. It is not uncommon for some parents who are desperate to win the care of the child during Christmas to abduct their own child for purpose of spending time together. Although it is understandable for every parent to desire for longer moments with their child, abduction is definitely not a remedy.
When it is necessary to file for an order, parents are encouraged to file it not later than December to avoid becoming part of the Family Court Christmas rush. With Christmas just around the corner, it is recommended that you settle your kids’ visitation beforehand.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.