Holiday Custody Arrangements

Dec 03, 2014

As the holidays loom near, divorced parents often are reminded of their unique situations when it comes to spending time with their children.  When parties with children divorce, they often must decide not only where their children will live primarily and how much time the non-residential parent will spend with the children, but also where the children will spend the holidays.  Because most holidays consist of family gatherings, it can be difficult to decide how the children will celebrate.  To make matters more complicated, if the parties cannot agree on a holiday parenting schedule, the court may impose one on its own.

In a recent case, Cipriani v. Fontana, the parties disagreed over the court’s determination as to the holiday parenting schedule.  Because the parties lived hours apart, the court decided it would alternate Christmas and Easter, but award the father with custody of the child for every Thanksgiving because it was an especially important holiday to father’s family.  On appeal, though the mother contested the fact that every other year the father would have custody of the child for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s imposed holiday parenting schedule.   The Appellate Division decided that the holiday schedule was in the “best interests of the child” and the trial judge had properly examined the factors in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 for making custody determinations.   

If you are currently battling over a custody arrangement, the holidays can be an especially stressful time of year.  The experienced matrimonial attorneys at Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC can make this time less stressful by handling your custody case.  Call us today at  973-274-5200.