Holiday Placement with Children

With the holiday season upon us, we often see placement disputes.  It is important to follow your judgment of divorce or paternity when it comes to holiday placement.  The holiday schedule set forth in the court order takes precedence over regularly scheduled placement and should be followed except upon mutual agreement.

If you do not have a specific holiday schedule, the courts typically find that holidays should alternate which means whoever had the last holiday has the next upcoming holiday.  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are separate holidays and each parent should see the children on one of those days.  The same is true with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  However, if the family of one parent has a typical tradition (i.e. always Christmas Eve), then that parent should receive that holiday assuming the other parent also doesn’t have family traditions on that day.

Please keep in mind that in disputes, the children are the ones who suffer.  They have the right to spend holidays with both parents and to see and spend time with both sides of their families.

Happy holidays to you.

4 thoughts on “Holiday Placement with Children

  1. What is your recourse if the bio-father has connections in the Milwaukee police dept and he abducts your child over Christmas with their blessing and the blessing of the DA?

    • You should consult with an experienced family law attorney to review your case and assist you in this process. I cannot answer your question without all of the facts.

  2. I read your article about holidays and weekend visitations. You stated the holidays take precedence over regular schedule visitations. Is there anywhere in statues that this is written? We live in Wisconsin and our current court order states I have primary physical placement, then it states these are the fathers holiday hours. Mine are not listed because I have primary placement. My daughers birthday is August 12th which happens to fall on her weekend with her father. His holiday hours for her birthday are 4 pm to 7:30 pm. I told him this weekend that I would pick her up at 9 am on the 12th and he could come and get her at 4 pm. He told me that my holiday hours are not listed on the current order so his weekend trumps her birthday holiday. I talked to the police station in his small town and they agreed with what he said.

    Can you please give me the place to find this proof out so I can show it to them.

    • It really depends on what your divorce judgment says. However, there are two parts to this. First, it appears that his holiday hours are specified. Any time outside of those holiday hours revert to the normal schedule. Unfortunately, if her birthday is on his weekend and the order does not specifically state otherwise, then he gets his weekend. I would suggest that you talk to an attorney about going back to court to get a more detailed holiday schedule. However, the second part is enforcement. The police very rarely get involved in these types of disputes. You typically need to seek enforcement with the Courts anyway. Unfortunately, either way, it seems as if you may be making a trip back to court if there is no agreement between the two of you.

We welcome your comments or questions. We will do our best to try to respond. However, please be advised that we cannot give legal advice in this forum and all communications are for general informational purposes only. Communication should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. This is an open forum and any information you provide may be posted and will not be held confidentially. By posting a comment or question, you are expressly giving consent for the publication of same. If you have any specific legal issues or concerns, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney in the county and state in which you reside.

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