The holiday season brings anxiety even for the most well-adjusted, intact families. For families of separation and divorce, the ordinary stressors are compounded by the hardship of physical custody scheduling for the holidays.
So what should you do if you have an emergency child custody holiday disagreement with your child’s other parent? Can it be resolved in time for the Thanksgiving or Christmas or Chanukah? How will a judge decide your child custody case? Will a judge decide your case?
What may seem like a child custody emergency to you may not qualify as an emergency in a court of law. Emergency family law matters are often limited to situations where irreparable harm or bodily injury may occur without judicial intervention, for instance, parental kidnappings, parental disagreements over an emergency medical decision, or domestic violence situations. The courts are often too overwhelmed to commonly prioritize a parent’s missing his or her child’s first Thanksgiving or Christmas. The term “emergency” may differ depending on the judge, and the expertise of your lawyer.
If you have a dispute over holiday child custody or custody visitation in Maryland, parents almost always will be ordered to participate in mediation before a judge will grant the parties a court hearing on the matter.
So why go through the stress, time, money and energy to navigate the court system in order to get to custody mediation for your custody or visitation dispute? Take steps to go directly to mediation and save yourselves the time, expense and energy! Nancy Caplan, Esquire, a family law attorney and mediator is trained to assist families to resolve child custody matters – quickly and in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays!
When co-parents make sensitive decisions themselves they are quite often more satisfied with the results. Once reason for this is that no one likes to be ordered by a judge - especially when it comes to their children! So even if one person finds themselves to be the “winner” of the court hearing for Christmas, you can practically schedule it on your calendar - the “losing” co-parent will come back in the future with a vengeance - and the stress, energy and trauma go on and on. Or, you might expect your child to be exposed to the “losing” parent’s crying. If that is the case, have you really “won”?
Use the money you save from avoiding litigation to pay off those holiday bills. Mediation can be scheduled during regular business hours, evenings and weekends. That means you won't have to take time off from work. The court system simply cannot provide that kind of convenience and control over your schedule and life. And the court system simply cannot provide the solution which will allow the parties and the child to celebrate the holidays in a lasting peace.
So if you are facing a holiday child custody battle, lay down your arms and come to the negotiating table to arrive at a solution which will assure that you have a Happy Thanksgiving, a joyous winter break, a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. Emergency holiday custody disputes are given priority at Maryland Divorce Mediation and Legal Services with Nancy Caplan, Esquire. Business hours, evenings and weekends are available. The holidays are upon us so call or email today.
Happy Holidays from Nancy Caplan.