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When It’s Not Going to Be a Very Thankful Thanksgiving This Year

BY IN Visitation

If this is the first year that you are going to be alone, without a spouse, or without your children during the holidays, it’s time to prepare so that you will survive this as well as possible.  Let’s be honest, the holidays will be difficult.  It will be difficult on so many levels.  We’d like to discuss a few of the difficulties that some of our clients faced and what you or our firm can do about it.

When You Thought You Were Going to See Your Kids and Last Minute You Don’t.

Clients end up in this boat for two reasons.  First, because they don’t have a specific court order, or secondly, the other parent has decided to violate the court order.

If you don’t have a court order, you have nothing that can be enforced.  Some parents have a court order that orders holiday parenting time “as the parties agree”.  If this is your situation and parenting time during the holidays is unreasonably denied, it’s time to obtain an order for specific parenting time. 

If you have a specific parenting time order and the other parent denies the parenting time (“she is sick”, “grandma is in town on that day”), you will need to pursue an Order to Show Cause. The judge will require the other parent to give a good reason why they should not be held in contempt of court.  The judge may sanction the other parent for violating the court order and provide you with make-up parenting time.

When You Can’t Afford Christmas Presents Like Last Year.

If you were a two income, one household family prior to separation, things have changed.  You are now a one-income-same-expenses household.  Of course, you may have heard this before, the greatest gift you can give your children during or shortly after the divorce process (or any time really) is your love, time, and attention.  Children have increased rates of depression and anxiety when their parents divorce.  Use these months to pay attention to them; go for a hike, spend your money on a craft or something that you can do together.  They value that more, and your pay off will be significant in the long run.

When It Is Just Lonesome, Tough and Miserable.

It will be.  Go find companionship, support, and help.  Many divorce care support groups have meetings specifically focused on the holidays.  You can find more information at Divorce Care.  If you are not sure whether you have a parenting time order that will provide you with time with your children this holiday season, call us at 616-285-0808 so that we can review your situation with you.