Every year I get at least one call regarding Christmas visitation. Florida law no longer uses the terms “custody” or “visitation”. Judges deal with time sharing. Our children only have a limited of Christmas’s as children, and they have a right to make the most of all of them. These limited number of Christmas mornings need to be shared fairly.
The first factor that the court considers when setting a time sharing schedule is “the demonstrated capacity for each parent to …encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship…”
A parent who has denied time sharing for the holidays is setting himself or herself up for serious legal consequences with the court. This is true even if there is not a court order in place.
If you have been, or fear that you will be denied time sharing for the holidays, document, document, document. Send emails, text, Facebook messages or anything else you can to document the time that you are entitled to and that you are asking for it. PRINT the emails and Facebook messages.
If there is time, contact an attorney. Short matters hearings can usually be brought before the judge on five day’s notice. You may be able to get before a judge.
If you do lose your time, you can request make up time from the court, and seek sanctions against the other parent.
Whenever possible, be fair, put the needs of the child first, and share. It is the right thing to do, legally and as a parent.
Best Holiday wishes from The Sanders Firm.