As most businesses start to wind-down as the year comes to an end, we at Antonyan Miranda are busy as always with holiday "issues." Specifically, beginning just before Halloween, parents often begin to quibble over their child custody and visitation orders regarding the holiday visitation schedule and Winter Break schedule.
Making matters worse is the fact that many Findings and Orders after Hearing (FOAH) simply incorporate the Family Court Services (FCS) report recommendation as to this component of the custody and visitation schedule. Often times, the parties fail to focus on and or review this part of the FCS report, and rarely discuss it before the custody hearing with the other parent and or their attorney.
Inevitably, vacation plans, conflicts, visiting family members, and vagueness in the recommendation itself lead to litigation right before the holidays. As such, Antonyan Miranda recommends that those who are subject to a custody and visitation proceeding take the time to review all aspects of the request, response, and FCS recommendation, so that regardless of the Court's ruling, any issues can be addressed before the final order is made. After-the-fact litigation can be a significant and unnecessary expense, particularly during the holidays. Also, the Court calendar is truncated during the holidays, and the vast majority of custody and visitation issues are not properly heard on an ex parte calendar.
You should always begin by trying to reach a compromise with the other parent. If this does not work, you know who to call.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Antonyan Miranda!