Seasons greetings!  Winter is upon us.  Inherent in the winter season are rising heating costs, snow shoveling, school closings and, of course, the holidays.  For many families, it’s easy to plan for the holidays because tradition calls for a glazed turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day at Aunt Ruth’s, an open fire around the wood-burning fireplace with eggnog and holiday cookies at grandma’s and, of course, the always extraordinary New Year’s bash at Uncle Joey’s.

So, why mess with a good thing?  Although the holiday schedule may be somewhat tranquil for intact families, many divorced parents are left to struggle with holiday scheduling issues because – similar to the climate – it is subject to change.  The thought of not having the little ones home for the holidays can be all too difficult for some parents to bear.  Yet, parents must make concessions concerning their children’s winter schedule year after year which can become altogether exhausting even before the winter season begins.

While arranging this year’s holiday parenting time, it is important to consider what is in the child’s best interest.  Ideally, a child should spend time with both sides of the family, even if it breaks tradition.  Of course, this may be easier for some families than for others.

Fortunately, the Court can be petitioned (and often is) to compel parents to abide by a particular holiday parenting time schedule.  In fact, the Court receives a blizzard of parenting time schedule applications right before the holidays.  However, these parents run the risk of being compelled to follow a schedule neither parent (nor child) may appreciate.  After all, no one knows your children better than you do; the Court is no exception.

That is why it is important to keep in mind that there are other – more time and cost effective – alternatives.  Many parents will successfully resolve their dispute seeking the assistance of a trained mediator who will take the time to suggest scheduling alternatives without losing perspective.  Also, parents may be inclined to contact a parenting time coordinator who is qualified to assist families in handling the most difficult compromising issues such as a holiday schedule.

If you are thinking about the upcoming winter schedule and are concerned about the impact of a holiday schedule on your children, contact one of the attorneys at Iandoli & Edens, LLC where one of our competent attorneys will help you decide which avenue is right for you and your family.