The holiday season begins, and for many people in a divorce or in the aftermath of a divorce, the season raises concerns and stresses beyond the usual stresses of the holidays. Some of the concerns develop over the sharing of the holidays with children. Which parent will have the children on which days? Do the parents split Christmas Day, or alternate it each year? Whose church, synagogue or temple will host the children this holiday?
Judges are especially attuned to the holiday concerns…it is during this time of year that many courtrooms are filled with litigants…parents seeking a ruling on whether a parent can travel with the kids to New Jersey this year, to see aging relatives for the holidays, for example. Mnay of the judges will refuse to hear new cases once their holiday dockets fill up.
What to do with your new and worrisome holiday concern?
For parents in the middle of a holiday visitation issue, be mindful of the idea that the concern might be best handled through mediation, for example. An experienced mediator might be able to reach a workable solution to a tough issue.. a solution that the parents themselves work out with the mediator.
The great thing about mediated solutions is this…the solution is often one developed by the parties themselves, using the mediator to help problem solve, brainstorm, and develop aletrnative paths to solutions. A trained mediator ( I am trained, certified, and enjoy mediation) is also experienced in the family law courts, and will know which solutions make sense under the law.
This time of year, the judges simply don’t have the time necessary to sort out the myriad visitation problems that occur during the holidays. If you have a concern, contact a mediator, like myself, and see if the path of facilitated dispute resolution is the right course for you.