Whether you are new to the divorce scene or you've been in it for a while, this time of year may have you questioning if your parenting plan is sufficient for the holidays. When it comes to child custody, the holiday season is usually difficult.
Every year, numerous children in Michigan spend their holidays away from at least one parent. This is something with which many of them struggle; some will even ask their parents to change the current plans because of it. These thoughts and feelings are certainly understandable. If your child begs you to change the custody schedule, should you give in?
First holiday season
If this is your first holiday season since finalizing your divorce, some would say that you should keep your custody plans as they are -- unless you have a significant reason to adjust them. Children cannot adjust to the agreed-upon holiday schedule if you and your ex change it before you even try it. At the end of the day, it is up to you, however. You have to do what you feel is best for your child and your family.
Subsequent holiday seasons
If this is not your first rodeo and you know that your current custody plan for the holiday season is not ideal, now is the time to do something about it. It can take time to negotiate a new parenting schedule with your ex. If it is something he or she does not agree with, going to court can make achieving an adjustment take even longer.
Things to consider before making a change
Before seeking a holiday custody schedule adjustment, it is good to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- Is this a temporary or permanent change?
- What will giving in to your child's request teach him or her?
- Is an adjustment going to serve the best interests of your child?
If the modification is only temporary due to a child's request, you have to decide if it is worth it. Will giving in make your child feel better about the upcoming holiday, or will it teach him or her that he or she has all the power when it comes to setting the custody schedule?
Yes, sometimes, temporary adjustments are necessary, but it is okay to be picky about when to seek or allow them. If you want a permanent custody change, you have every right to express your concerns and file an official modification request.