When my ex husband and I went through our divorce the process was draining and a very confusing process, needless to say I didn’t know what to expect. Our divorce decree is currently allowing my ex visitation of our son every holiday of every year and every school break. Needless to say this isn’t working out for me because I would like to be able to enjoy some holiday and down time with our child too. I don’t believe our previous agreement is fair, as I was awarded sole custody and he lives full time with me and I am the only one doing all the parental responsibilities such as school and medical ect. Yet he gets to enjoy all the rewarding fun times. What are my rights in terms of modifying visitation schedules to make it more responsible.
Thank you for your question. I understand how worried you must be about establishing a parenting time schedule that allows you to spend holidays with your son.
The short answer is yes, it is possible to modify your parenting time through the court. In most cases, divorced parents share holidays on a rotating schedule that alternates holidays throughout the year and switches the following year, and this pattern repeats. It is unusual for one party to have parenting time every single holiday. The court will weigh several factors when making a decision, including how recently the current plan went into effect, any substantial changes in the parties’ circumstances, the distance between the parties’ homes and how the current plan impacts the child. It is also possible that the court may send the parties to mediation prior to a judge making the final decision.
I strongly suggest that you schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible, so that you and your son can begin spending holidays together.
Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if my advice helped you. I hope you understand that the information I presented to you is based on the limited facts presented and is based on New Jersey law. Also, this information does not contain any confidential information and does not create any attorney/client relationship.
In order to modify the parenting time arrangement, you have to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances warranting such a change. It is indeed unusual that one parent would have all of the holidays and all of the breaks, unless there is such a distance between you and your ex that the only parenting time that makes sense would be long weekends/time off from school. Otherwise, is seems that there should be more of a sharing of the holidays as well as the parenting time.
This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney/client relationship nor is there any guarantee that this advice will be completely effective in a court of law. A consultation, including review of court orders and other documents is necessary in order for me to give you proper advice and guidance.
Parenting schedules are modifiable when in the best interest of the child. Consult with an experienced matrimonial attorney to determine whether you have grounds to file an application for modification. Of course, if your ex is willing to discuss some changes, mediation would be a less costly option.
I agree with you, your ex should be splitting the holidays 50/50
You should meet with an experienced divorce lawyer, review your divorce judgment and divorce settlement agreement, and take action.
Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if my advice helped you. AND NOW THE DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that my response is just a general comment on your question, and not legal advice. I have answered based upon the law of the State of New Jersey where I practice; the laws in other states may be very different, and may result in very different outcomes. Your question and any response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. The exact details of your situation and things that you have not mentioned in your question can completely change the response I gave. You can not rely upon what I have written as legal advice, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you, I only have the very small amount of information that you put into your question. The exact facts of your situation may give you a very different result.
"Needless to say this isn’t working out for me" This is NOT a valid reason for any change in visitation. Best interests of the child - not yours.
While it might be in the best interests of the child to split holidays, it might also be in the best interests to provide your ex more parenting time.
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