Memorial Day Weekend Provokes Questions About Holiday Visitation

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With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, visitation issues and scheduling can be a bit complicated for parents struggling through a divorce or who are divorced already. Throughout his career, Judge Michael Ian Bender has helped thousands of parents navigate the scheduling and visitation process, and has answered five of the most frequently asked questions below.

Question:

Can my ex have our child even if it’s stated in our court document that it’s my holiday weekend?

 Answer:

No, the court ruling is the final say, and your ex would not be able to have the child over the holiday weekend that is designated as yours.

Question:

If my ex has our child over Memorial Day weekend, does he or she get two weekends in a row or do I get the weekend after their holiday?

Answer:

Holiday visitation trumps the existing schedule. Typically, you would have your child every other weekend. For example, you have weekend A, your ex would have weekend B, you have weekend C and your ex has weekend D. However, during a holiday weekend, it’s a bit different. If your ex’s holiday is on weekend A, then your ex would have the child for both weekend A and weekend B.

Question:

What do I do when holiday visitation overlaps?

 Answer:

Overlapping holiday seasons can happen, especially during the winter months. In these cases, you should work to reach a compromise with your ex and decide what situation would be best for the children.

Question:

Does holiday time have priority over vacation time?

Answer:

The answer is generally “yes.”  You should refer to the orders or judgments entered by the court. Holiday time is usually given priority over vacation. Your ex will be able to claim the child if it is his or her designated holiday. However, you could propose an exchange of weekends, provided that you have a stable relationship with your ex.

Question:

Can verbal agreements of holiday visitation rules be nullified?

 Answer:

Unfortunately, yes, as verbal agreements are not court mandated. I would recommend following through with verbal agreements by securing an agreed court order.

 

At the end of the day, holidays and the visitation schedule that comes along with them are not meant to punish you for your divorce, but to help combat difficulties that arise when both parents want to spend time with their child during the holiday weekend. An important reminder as we head into Memorial Day weekend is to stay connected with your ex-spouse to ensure that your child is safe and secure, regardless of whose weekend it is. The best thing you can do is to always keep your child a top priority by being a cooperative co-parent.