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What are the Most Common Family Law Issues During the Holidays?

The holidays are a family-oriented time. For divorced couples who share custody, this can make things difficult. How do you share custody during the holidays? Can you change a custody agreement in New Jersey? What about grandparent visitation rights? These are all questions that are brought up often during the holiday season. Read on to learn more about the most common family law issues during the holidays and some potential solutions.

Sharing Custody Over the Holidays

Many parents want to spend every moment of the holidays with their children. This is difficult when it comes to parents who share custody. Luckily, there are plenty of different solutions. Every family is different, so every solution will be different. Some potential options include:

  • Alternate years
    • Many couples choose to take turns when it comes to the holidays.
  • Share the day
    • Some parents choose to share the holiday. For example, one parent gets Christmas Eve and the other gets Christmas Day.
  • Spend it together
    • This is not a realistic option for the majority of couples, but some divorced couples continue to spend the holidays together.

Changing a Custody Agreement

Sometimes, a custody agreement no longer works for your arrangement. Some try to modify their custody agreement in time for the holidays, but this can be difficult to do. Most of the time, a custody agreement cannot be changed last minute. In fact, your original child custody agreement was created to best suit the needs of your child, and a change in custody can be difficult for your child, seeing as it can interrupt their schedules and routines. For this reason, you must be able to show that a substantial change has occurred since the creation of the original agreement, and changes to your custody arrangement are needed.

Grandparent Visitation Rights

In many cases, grandparents will have visitation rights, but it is possible that you will need to retain the help of a family law attorney. If a parent does not allow a grandparent to have custody, and the grandparent wishes to fight for visitation rights, there is a process that must be followed. This begins with filing a formal motion with the court to request this right. The court will look at factors including:

  • The relationship between the parents and the grandparent
  • The effect the visitation will have on the relationship between the child and the child’s parents
  • The time-sharing arrangement between the parents and the child
  • The relationship between the child and the grandparent

Family law matters can be complicated, especially around the holidays. If you have questions about any of the above issues, contact our firm today.


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