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  • Karen Muir 403-232-0847
  • Cindy M. Marshall 403-232-0842
  • Debbie D. Johnson 403-232-0838
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  • Laurie M. Anderson 403-232-0848

Pre-plan child custody arrangements and avoid holiday heartaches

In the hearts and minds of many Alberta families, the winter holidays truly are the most wonderful time of the year. Celebrations and vacations make December and January months many people look forward to. For families divided by divorce, however, they can be stressful times fraught with fighting and angst over child custody disagreements.

Split families often have complicated holiday schedules because both parents wish to have their children with them for visiting family or taking trips abroad. When arguments ensue, it is the children who suffer the most. Lawyers report a seasonal surge just before and just after Christmas each year as parents file last-minute motions to gain additional access to their kids. None of this behaviour is healthy for a family.

Though there is no perfect solution, many divorced or separated parents are pre-arranging holiday schedules and making them a part of their child custody arrangements. Detailed orders for how time is to be divided over key holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and spring and summer breaks, are frequently being included in custody agreements. By having a set schedule agreed to by both parties, the chance for disappointment and frustration down the road might be minimized.

Nearly everyone wants to be able to enjoy the holidays with his or her family. Formulating a child custody agreement that satisfies both parents is not necessarily an easy task, but time spent on making things work now will pay dividends in the future. The professionals at a reputable Alberta family law firm can help with this important task.

Source: windsorstar.com, "Dreaming of a Christmas free from custody battles: Family lawyers say holiday season is their busiest time", Ashley Csanady, Dec. 24, 2016

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