The winter holidays are coming up, and this makes it a good time for California parents to review their child custody and visitation orders. These orders will outline who is to have the child in their care on which holidays. If your circumstances have changed, and the existing order is no longer feasible, it is better to seek an official modification as soon as possible, to avoid any surprises or conflicts during the holidays.
Negotiating a change out-of-court
Sometimes, if parents are on good terms with one another, they can negotiate a change to an existing child custody and visitation order out-of-court. Sometimes the court will request that parents try mediation before resorting to court-ordered changes. You can be represented by an attorney when negotiating out-of-court or during the mediation process. If an agreement is reached, it can be submitted to the court for approval. This makes it legally enforceable.
Requesting a change from the court
If parents are resorting to a court order for the modification of a child custody and visitation order, a “change in circumstances” must have occurred, meaning that it is in the best interests of the child that a change be made. The change must provide the child with stable and consistent living arrangements between the parents and the child.
Act now to avoid holiday conflicts
Last minute changes to holiday plans can be stressful both for parents and children, so if you want to alter your child custody and visitation order this holiday season, it is important to do so ahead of time. This gives the child’s other parent the ability to know of and agree to the change as well as provide the child with the stability and security they need to thrive both during the holidays and the rest of the year.