How the Holidays Can Impact Parenting Time
The holidays are meant to be a time when families come together. Unfortunately, if are going through a divorce and/or share joint custody of your children with an ex, then the holidays can be depressing, stressful, confusing, and, in the worst cases, combative.
Even under the best circumstances, going through a divorce is extremely difficult. That is particularly true when children are involved. Parents often find that while they have mutually agreed on many aspects of their split, when it comes to the particulars, such as who gets custody of the children for which holiday, their dispute can become quite contentious.
No one wants to be away from their children during family holidays. And while the biggest holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, will get the most attention, custody rights for even smaller holidays, such as Halloween or Memorial Day, will create a lot of strife.
That’s why it’s important for parents going through a divorce to fully understand the divorce and child custody process. Good intentioned, but under-informed, parents will agree to a settlement as quickly as possible hoping it will be best for their children, only to realize that fundamental questions were overlooked during the negotiations and finding that their desires and needs have been unfairly overlooked.
In the state of Pennsylvania, there are two types of child custody, legal and physical.Physical custody indicates who has the right to house and be the primary caregiver of a child. Legal custody refers to who has the right to make decisions on behalf of a child.
In the majority of cases in Pennsylvania, parents are awarded joint legal custody. This means that the parents have to share in the decision-making when it comes to their children. The parents also have equal rights to the children’s medical and educational records.
Ultimately, one parent will be awarded final decision-making authority for times when the parents are unable to reach a mutual decision. Typically, the final decision goes to the parent who has primary physical custody. Physical custody is most often shared as well, although it is common practice that one parent is given primary physical custody because it is generally believed that it is best for children to have one place that is considered home, especially during the school year.
The importance of joint legal custody is that a parent who has visitation rights or secondary physical custody of children cannot legally be cut out of the decision-making process when it comes to major issues involving the children.
If you are going through a divorce, the holidays can be a challenging time. The best way you can be sure you will get to spend quality time with your children during the holidays is to seek out the help of an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney. The Pennsylvania child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. has the knowledge and resources necessary to help you come to a fair and reasonable resolution that will be in the best interests of your children. Call us today at (610) 645-0100 to schedule a free consultation.