The place Will Your Youngster Be Spending the Holidays? Plan Now

blog home Child custody Start your child custody planning well before the holidays

Posted by Thomas Huguenor on Aug 14, 2019 in Custody

It’s only August, but trust us – if you’re sharing a child with an ex, now is the time to start planning your custody plan. Huguenor Mattis, APC, saw many families experience added stress, which should be the happiest time of the year. To that end, we’d like to remind you what holidays are coming and share some tips on how to create a strong visiting schedule that will last even if you are challenged in San Diego Family Court!

The federal holidays are still ahead of 2019

What is a federal holiday? It is a day off for government employees sanctioned by Title 5 of United States Code Section 6103. These holidays are also observed by most private companies, but not always:

  • Labor Day: Monday, September 2nd
  • Columbus day: Monday October 14th
  • Veterans Day: Monday November 11th
  • Thanksgiving: November 28th, Thursday
  • Christmas Day: December 25, Wednesday

California also recognizes all of the above federal holidays as state holidays. Government employees receive Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, as well as Christmas Day or an extra salary for working on those days. Public schools are closed on these days so your child is definitely on vacation!

However, under California law, private employers are not required to close for a specific holiday, give employees the day off, or give employees paid holidays. There are some exceptions for religious holidays. Check your work vacation schedule in advance and find out when you have time to take your child with you. You need to compare it to your co-parents’ work schedule to come up with a fair arrangement that the courts will agree to if disputes arise.

How religious holidays are determined

Employers must provide “reasonable accommodation” for workers unable to work due to religious obligations on certain public holidays. For a full list, see this Anti-Defamation League handout.

The definition of “reasonable” varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the industry and each company’s schedule, internal policies, and the needs of the employee. Your company manual is an invaluable resource for determining what your employer thinks is “appropriate” or not.

Hashing out your child’s holiday custody plan

In San Diego, Family Court Services offers private consultations with a Family Court Counselor. In one session you have 1.5 to 2.5 hours to work on a solution with your co-parent. This is an option if you cannot initially agree on your custody. Hiring an attorney can help you find a third party who is not emotionally involved in the process and suggest a schedule that the judge is more likely to agree to if your case goes to a hearing.

In a similar context, many parents will share Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We have found that this can put pressure on the child when the parents “skip” their time and have bad feelings. A separate “Christmas party” for a parent on a procedure or the following weekend when you have your child can be a good alternative. In fact, you can create a special vacation with your child so that they can look forward to both “holidays” every year. Otherwise, you can change the years for each vacation.

Being flexible and positive, and staying polite and transparent in your communication, is the key to a happy parent-to-parent relationship … and a recipe for a balanced son or daughter who feels loved and safe.

If you have any questions about setting up a vacation visit or changing your current custody plan, please contact our San Diego custody attorneys at Huguenor Mattis, APC for a free initial consultation. Our number is (858) 458-9500.

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