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How do I Get Parenting Time With my Child on a Holiday?

When parents go through a divorce, one of the most important matters is the custody and parenting time situation. After the court settles on a custody agreement, parents are required to abide by it in order to see their child. This may include a parenting time agreement that details exactly how both parents will navigate splitting their time with their children. Within this agreement, parents may sometimes designate which holidays each parent gets to spend with their kids. If your parenting time agreement does not discuss this, continue reading below to learn more and contact a New Jersey family law attorney for assistance.

What are Types of Custody Agreements?

There are two types of custody in New Jersey: physical and legal custody. When a parent is granted physical custody, they are the individual with whom the child lives and spends most of their time with. Separate from this, parents who have legal custody have the right to be involved in making decisions regarding the upbringing of the child. This may be for matters such as education, religion, medical care, and more. 

Courts generally want both parents to be involved in their child’s life, which is why shared custody is often rewarded. However, this is only done on the basis that it is in the best interest of the child. In order to determine what is in a child’s best interests, the court will consider the following factors:

  • The relationship both parents have with their child
  • If a parent was involved in criminal activity, have a substance abuse problem, or have exposed the child to domestic abuse
  • The child’s needs, including both physical and emotional
  • The child’s educational needs
  • If the child is of sufficient age to state their preference
  • The geographical proximity of both parent’s homes
  • Whether a parent can support the child’s standard of living
  • Whether the parent can provide the child with a stable and safe home

What do I do if a Holiday is Not in my Custody Agreement?

All parents want to spend time with their children as much as possible, especially on holidays. However, if a parent wants to be with their child on a holiday that is not in their parenting time agreement, there are options available to them to change this. For starters, it is a good idea to simply discuss the idea with the other parent to see if they are willing to swap parenting time for the particular holiday. 

If this does not work, a parenting time agreement can be modified. This may be possible by petitioning the court for a post-judgment modification. This allows changes to be made so that a parent can see their child on a specific date, such as a holiday. During this time, it is important to know that the parent asking for the modification must prove there has been a significant change in circumstances that calls for the modification. A skilled family law attorney can provide guidance through these matters.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.