What to Do When an Ex-Spouse Refuses to Comply with a Custody Agreement During the Holidays

Angry young couple fighting on a park bench

Parenting after a divorce is hard at any time. When the holidays roll around, however, this task tends to become more challenging. Attorneys receive numerous calls in the week leading up to Christmas as spouses begin fighting over who will get the Children and when. Sadly, the kids are the ones caught in the middle through no fault of their own and the holidays may be ruined as a result of these disputes. How can parents resolve these issues so they don't crop up year after year?

Address Important Issues

One reason many couples divorce is they are tired of the constant conflict. As a result, they often avoid discussing topics that they know will lead to an argument. Add to this the fact that many people tend to procrastinate as a matter of course. As a result, they may not realize they have a problem with the Ex-spouse with regards to the holiday until just a few days in advance. Why is this a problem?

The Court System

Courts tend to move slow as couples should realize during the Divorce. In fact, the average dispute takes a month to resolve and only if everything goes smoothly. In many cases, the problem takes much longer to get settled. Once a motion is filed, weeks pass before it is heard. If there are any delays, it could actually be months before the matter is heard. What can a person do in this situation?

Orders to Show Cause

In the event a spouse refuses to abide by the custody agreement when it comes to the holidays, contact an attorney to file an Order to Show Cause. With this order, the judge quickly makes a decision regarding the matter. However, the judge may refuse to hear the case if he or she does not believe irreparable harm will be done. He or she takes into consideration whether this issue should have been resolved earlier. How can one avoid the need for this hearing?

Ensure the custody agreement outlines who gets the children when during the holidays. This helps to avoid disputes. If a parent fails to comply, the court then steps in and the parent being refused visitation as outlined has a stronger case. Keep this in mind when preparing the custody agreement, as less conflict is always best for all involved but especially the children.

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