Custody Concerns and the Holidays

November 22, 2016 | Child Custody, Divorce, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Candice Komar Candice Komar

The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides that in 2015 there were 33,600 divorces statewide.  Of those, 2,582 divorces were finalized in Allegheny County alone.  While these statistics do not reflect how many of those divorcing couples have minor children, anyone who is divorced or in the process of getting divorced understands how difficult the process can be for an adult, with even greater stress for a toddler, school-aged child or even a teenager.

And with the holiday season quickly approaching, there are many additional difficulties to be navigated by adults and children alike.  A Pittsburgh custody attorney can review your current parenting schedule and guide you and your family through this difficult time.

The Three C’s to Manage Holiday Visitation Pitfalls

For any intact family unit, the holiday season can prove to be difficult at best with extended family coming and going, days off from school and work, as well as possible financial concerns.  Add to that the religious overtones of some holidays, such as Hanukkah and Christmas, and it is easy to see how divorced couples experience increased anxiety during what could have been a joyous time of year.

For any divorced or divorcing family with children, there are three C’s to keep in mind including:

  • Communication: When a couple decides to split up, it is not unusual that their communication skills are less than ideal.  Hurt feelings, mistrust and even financial concerns can affect the way a couple communicates or fails to communicate with one another.   But when it comes to acting in the best interest of children while simultaneously navigating the holiday season, communication is key.  In addition to using good communication skills with your former partner, it is also important to use those same communication skills to speak with an experienced custody attorney who can provide guidance on the issues many families will face during the holiday season.
  • Creativity: Almost everyone knows of someone who has gone through the divorce process.  Unfortunately, what your friend or family member used for a holiday visitation schedule may or may not work for you and your family.  Try to be creative where necessary.  Celebrate Thanksgiving on the Friday after if necessary or use Christmas Eve as an all day celebration with your child if your spouse must have Christmas Day with their extended family.  Our custody attorneys have used all types of creative ideas to work around family holiday schedules and they can develop the best solution for you and your children.
  • Compromise: If your spouse left the family to pursue a romantic relationship or has not paid his or her share of the bills, compromise is likely the last thing that you want to consider.  But the holiday season is one of great happiness and joy especially for a child and this may be the very best time to compromise.

Contact a Custody Attorney in Pittsburgh Today

When it comes to custody, visitation and the holiday season, there is no one single resolution or cookie-cutter answer that applies to all families.  An experienced custody lawyer can help you identify potential pitfalls and generate positive solutions that will benefit both you and your children.  At Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, our attorneys are ready to help you develop a strategy that will assist you throughout the holiday season.  Call us today at (412) 471-9000 to speak to one of our lawyers or use our online contact form.

About the Author

Candice L. Komar, founding partner of Pollock Begg, is a strong litigator, trained mediator and collaborative law attorney who often deals with divorces involving closely held businesses, complex issues and high net worth individuals. A fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and recognized by local and national awards programs for her business sense and family law leadership, particularly in collaborative law, Candice is also often tapped by media to discuss hard-hitting custody and divorce cases.

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