What do I Need to Know About Parenting Time on Holidays in New York?

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Divorce changes the lives of all individuals involved. This includes children. When parents go through a divorce, matters such as custody and parenting time have to be determined. When a parenting time agreement is created, parents may sometimes choose to designate certain holidays that they get to spend with their children. However, some agreements may not include this. If your parenting time agreement does not discuss holidays and you want to be with your child for an upcoming one, continue reading below and contact a New York family law attorney for assistance.

What are Types of Custody Agreements?

In New York, there are two types of custody agreements that are typically granted: physical custody and legal custody. When a parent has physical custody of their child, they are the individual with whom the child spends the majority of their time with. If a parent has legal custody of their child, they can be involved in making important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as education, medical case, religion, etc.

When the court determines a custody arrangement, they usually want both parents to be in a part of the child’s life. That is why shared custody is often granted. However, all decisions must be made in the best interest of the child. In order to determine what this is, the court will consider the following:

  • The relationship both parents have with their child
  • If a parent was involved in criminal activity, have a substance abuse problem, or have exposed the child to domestic abuse
  • The child’s needs, including both physical and emotional
  • The child’s educational needs
  • If the child is of sufficient age to state their preference
  • The geographical proximity of both parent’s homes
  • Whether a parent can support the child’s standard of living
  • Whether the parent can provide the child with a stable and safe home

What do I do if a Holiday is Not in my Custody Agreement?

Parents always want to spend time with their children, especially on holidays. However, this can be difficult for families of divorce. If a parent wants to spend a holiday with their child but it is not in their parenting agreement, they can take certain steps to change this. For instance, a good start is to discuss the matter with the other parent. In some situations, they may be willing to swap their parenting time on that holiday for another date. However, in the event that this does not work, the parent can petition the court to receive a post-judgment modification. This allows changes to be made to the document so that a parent can be with their child on the date they desire, such as a holiday. When asking for a modification, the parent is required to prove there is a significant change in circumstances that requires the modification. 

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I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

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The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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