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Can You Adjust a Parenting Time Schedule for the Holidays?

At López Law Office, we understand that navigating the complexities of parenting time schedules can be challenging, especially during the holiday season. Ensuring your child gets to spend quality time with both parents is crucial for their emotional well-being. But can you adjust a parenting time schedule for the holidays? Let’s delve into this topic.

What is Parenting Time?

A parenting time schedule, also known as a visitation schedule, outlines when a child will spend time with each parent. This schedule is usually established during divorce or separation proceedings and is guided by the best interests of the child. Factors such as the child’s age, parents’ work schedules, and the child’s school schedule are often taken into account.

Parenting Time Modifications during the Holiday Season

The holiday season, filled with traditions and special family moments, often prompts a desire for modifications to the regular parenting time schedule. It’s a time when both parents may wish to share equally in the joy of the season with their child. However, making these changes involves considerations of legal guidelines and the child’s best interests.

In Indiana, the law provides specific guidelines for parenting time, taking into account legal custody (decision-making rights) and physical custody (where the child lives). While it’s possible to modify a parenting time schedule, it requires substantial proof that there’s been a significant change in the child’s situation and that the modification is in the child’s best interest.

To make these changes, you’ll need to petition the court that issued the initial parenting time order. If both parents agree on the modifications, the process can be relatively straightforward. However, if there’s disagreement, the court will decide based on the child’s best interests. The court also has the power to enforce parenting time orders and hold non-compliant parents in contempt.

Parenting Time Modifications during the Holiday Season

Navigating co-parenting during the holiday season doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are a few tips:

  1. Prioritize Your Child’s Well-being: Always keep the child’s best interests at heart. This may mean compromising on your ideal holiday plans to ensure your child has a stress-free holiday experience.
  2. Effective Communication: Open and respectful communication with the other parent is key. Discuss holiday plans well in advance to avoid last-minute conflicts.
  3. Establish Clear Expectations: Ensure both parents understand and agree on the holiday schedule, including specifics like pick-up and drop-off times.
  4. Seek Legal Guidance: If disagreements arise or if you’re unsure about the legalities of modifying a parenting time schedule, seek advice from a family law attorney.

Your Trusted Legal Partner

At the López Law Office, we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate these complexities. Our bilingual services in English and Spanish ensure we can assist a diverse range of families. Please contact us for an initial consultation. We’re here to help you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season.

Vanessa López Aguilera

Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area