If you’ve watched TV or been to a store in the last month, you know the holiday season is already in full swing this year. From store decorations to online ads and commercials, we are constantly reminded to get an early start to Christmas shopping and holiday preparation. What we don't hear this time of year are reminders to get our holiday travel and time-sharing plans in place. If you share joint custody of your children, you know that it isn't exactly easy. Rotating every year, splitting holidays, and observing parenting plans can be stressful. Even normal holiday activities like traveling to see relatives can be much more complex in a joint custody family. However, there are things you can do to make sure you have a smooth holiday season and get the time with your children that you want.


New Mexico parent helps child add ornament to holiday tree.


Get the Right New Mexico Custody Agreement

Thinking about holidays as soon as possible is always the best way to get the custody you want. If you haven’t yet finalized your divorce and parenting plan,  make sure it is as thorough and flexible as possible so that it provides for life’s many eventualities. While the big days like Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually addressed in a parenting plan, other holidays like Halloween and Easter may not be included. If other holidays or holiday weekends are important to you (or may become important in the years ahead) you should definitely address them. 

Always Plan Ahead 

If you already have a custody agreement in place, you should still plan your holiday season well in advance. If you want to take your children to visit grandma and grandpa out of state, you will likely need the other parents’ permission. Check the order to see if there is already a provision for out-of-state travel. It’s always best to get written permission from the child’s other parent when taking your children out of state as it is usually mandated in the parenting plan and also protects you from any legal repercussions. When traveling with your children, you should always provide the other parent with an itinerary and accommodation details. This isn’t about your ex knowing what you’re doing but about them knowing what their children are doing. You should also provide your children with a way to communicate with the other parent during your trip. If you feel like communication is too frequent or burdensome, agree to certain times in the day when your children can speak with their other parents and try to keep them as informed as possible. Sending pictures and updates will always be appreciated (and will hopefully be reciprocated). 

Your Options 

If you think your ex will be less than cooperative when planning an out-of-state trip, you can always file a motion with the court to allow you to take the trip. Keep in mind that this has to be done months in advance of any planned travel, so you are probably already too late for this year’s holiday season. However, if you don’t get the timesharing you want this year, call Genus Law today so you can get the spring break, summer, Thanksgiving, and Christmas custody you want. Call us at 505.317.4455 or chat with a live representative at any time to set up your consultation with experienced family law attorneys 


Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond
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