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Holiday visitation planning important for Massachusetts families

The holiday season is here, and it's a time of year most everyone finds at least a bit hectic and stressful. For Massachusetts families trying to figure out child custody issues or visitation during the holidays, however, it can be especially challenging. Whether celebrating Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's Eve or other holidays, divorced or separated families can benefit from establishing a plan with clearly-defined visitation and parenting time for both mom AND dad.

It's good to keep in mind, and to remind all family members, that every family is different and no family is perfect. Preferably, both children and parents will work to focus on recreating the magic of the holiday season in a new way. Ideally, many families will use this as an opportunity to create brand new and exciting family traditions, perhaps some with mom and others with dad, to make the holidays extra special with each parent.

An established parenting plan with a holiday schedule is essential, as both parents will want to make sure they get to spend time with their children while providing the best experience for each child. There are many creative ways to approach this situation. Some parents alternate holidays every year; if using Thanksgiving and Christmas as an example, Dad gets Thanksgiving on even-numbered years and Christmas on odd-numbered ones, with Mom taking the alternate approach. When parents live close to each other, they might consider having the child spend half the day with one parent and the rest of the day with the other. Working together creatively when figuring out a holiday visitation schedule is essential to keeping the holidays fun and enjoyable for both parents and children.

If a Massachusetts parent determines that the currently established child custody arrangements aren't working or are not in the best interests of the child or children, this issue can easily be addressed. An attorney with experience in family law can work to determine a visitation schedule that better suits the parent and is in the best interests of the children. Skilled attorneys can make this process go as smoothly and easily as possible, so there's one less thing to stress about during the busy holiday season.

Source:, "How to Prepare for Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season", Nov. 08, 2016

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