In Utah, courts decide child custody and parent plan matters in ways that are in the “best interest” of the child. That usually means solutions that enable both parents to share in parenting duties and enjoy quality time with the child. Though a 50-50 shared physical custody arrangement is possible, in most cases the child will live primarily with one parent during the week, with the other parent enjoying time with the child every other weekend. Many different child custody and parent plan arrangements are possible, however, depending on the needs of the child and what is in his or her best interest.
At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC, we provide aggressive and compassionate representation in matters involving child custody and visitation arrangements. We work hard to protect the rights and interests of our clients — and to craft creative solutions that enable them to develop close and meaningful parental relationships.
In a Legal Case Review, attorney David Pedrazas can review your situation and discuss how our law firm can help you.
Developing The Parent Plan That Is Right For You And Your Child
A parenting plan can be very specific, spelling out in detail such matters as the school the child is to attend, precise pickup times, and so on. Parents who have a more cooperative attitude toward child-rearing duties may be able to operate with a more general parenting plan.
Having represented many parents over the course of his legal career, Salt Lake City family law attorney David Pedrazas understands the legal and practical aspects of child custody and parent plan issues. In your case, he will learn about your needs and those of your children, as well as the state of your relations with your spouse or ex-spouse.
In many cases, David Pedrazas can negotiate workable custody and parent plan. If that is not possible, then he can represent you in court, where the matter will be resolved by a judge, in accordance with the parent plan guidelines in Utah Code §30-3-35. By going to court, however, you give control over the outcome to the judge. David Pedrazas can advise you, and if necessary, provide results-oriented representation in court.
Common Ways that Parents Divide and Share Holiday Time with Their Kids
If you have gone through a divorce, then you want to make sure that your children still have access to the same holiday celebrations that they would otherwise get to enjoy if the family was still together. Therefore, it is important to divide holiday time appropriately. Some of the ways that parents divide holiday time include:
- Alternate Holidays: One option is to alternate holidays every other year. For example, some parents divide Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then, the next year, they swap who has each holiday. That way, parents still get to spend time with their children.
- Split the Holiday in Half: In some cases, parents decide to split each holiday in half so that the children are spending a part of each holiday with each parent. Of course, this also means that the parents have to live near each other to prevent children from spending all day traveling.
- Have Two Holidays: In some situations, parents will actually have each holiday twice. For example, one parent might do Christmas on December 25th while the other parent might do Christmas on December 30th. That way, each parent gets the feeling of celebrating each holiday with the children.
Parents need to decide which arrangement is going to work best for their children.
Special Considerations for the Holidays
Some holidays require special considerations because both parents want to spend time with their child near the holiday. These include:
- Birthdays: On a child’s birthday, make sure that both parents have time close to the special day for an appropriate celebration
- Mother’s and Father’s Day: Make sure the mother gets Mother’s day and the father gets Gather’s day
- 3-day Weekends: Make sure to give the holiday to the parent who already has that weekend to make things easier
- The Parent’s Birthday: Make sure that the children spend that day with the parent on his or her birthday
- Christmas Holidays: Usually, kids are going to have two weeks off from school, so it is helpful to divide up the weeks so that each parent gets one week
- Thanksgiving: Some parents might decide to have the children during the week while the other parent gets the weekend; however, depending on the geographic arrangement, this entire block of time might be included in the holiday swap
Holidays To Include in the Parenting Plan
There are several holidays that always have to be included in the parenting plan. These include:
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
- Thanksgiving Week (and Day)
- Fall Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break
- Summer Breaks
- The Easter Holiday
- Long Weekends such as Labor Day, President’s Day, Columbus Day, and Martin Luther King Day
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
- The July 4th Holiday (Independence Day)
- Veteran’s Day Weekend
- Memorial Day Weekend
- The Child’s (or children’s) Birthday
In addition, there might be state holidays or religious holidays that need to be included in the planning schedule. By planning ahead of time, parents can avoid confusion and make sure that the best interests of the children are always represented. Child custody lawyers in Utah can be helpful.
Schedule a Legal Case Review With a Utah Parenting Plans Lawyer
It is helpful to rely on a law office with an experienced divorce lawyer for child custody issues. Working with a legal counsel who can double as a divorce attorney or a defense attorney can help parents navigate these issues. To learn more about planning for custody arrangements in divorce, contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC.