How is Holiday Visitation Handled for Non-Custodial Parents in Minnesota?
For non-custodial parents in Minnesota, the holiday season can be a frustrating time. While a standard parenting time schedule grants visitation every other weekend, holidays often disrupt this regular routine.
However, with some advanced planning, non-custodial parents can ensure they still get meaningful time with their children over the holidays.
This article will examine holiday visitation for non-custodial parents and provide tips on modifying your Minnesota visitation schedule.
How Minnesota Courts Handle Holiday Custody for Non-Custodial Parents
In Minnesota, holiday parenting time schedules are an important consideration and take priority over regular parenting time arrangements. Parents are encouraged to establish clear holiday visitation plans, coordinate schedules, communicate about traditions, and balance past practices with new approaches since there are now two households involved.
It is recommended that parents first determine their regular parenting schedule and then establish additional schedules specifying allocated holiday blocks, school vacation breaks, and extended vacation time. Agreements should outline specific transition procedures and rules around informing each other if visitation dates need adjusting.
Holiday parenting time can be alternated annually or rotated in odd/even years to ensure fair divisions. Plans often designate major legal, religious, and cultural holidays like July 4th, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Eid, etc. They also may include birthdays and Mother’s/Father’s Day events. Extended school break parenting times over summers or during Spring Break can be split or trade-off annually as well.
The goal is crafting holiday co-parenting arrangements suited to the family situation with the child’s best interests in mind. Avoid the common child custody mistakes. Flexibility helps make visitations enjoyable. Courts can assist disputing parents in allocating appropriate holiday schedules.
Tips for Non-Custodial Parents Seeking More Holiday Time
If you want more meaningful visitation as a non-custodial parent in Minnesota, here are some tips:
Discuss Adjusting the Schedule
If your current holiday visitation schedule doesn’t work for you, discuss adjusting it with your co-parent. Present your concerns diplomatically, focusing on the child’s best interests. Highlight how more holiday time would benefit your relationship with your child. If your co-parent agrees, you can modify the custody schedule without going to court.
Petition the Court
If your co-parent doesn’t agree to changes, your next step is petitioning the court. You’ll need to show adjusting the schedule is in the child’s best interests. Reasons could include:
- Living closer now, so more visitation is less disruptive
- Work schedule changes allow more holiday time
- The child is older and wants more time with you
A qualified family law attorney can help you file the proper motions and build a strong case for your request.
Rather than alternate holidays, parents could split time on the actual holiday. For instance, on Christmas, the non-custodial parent gets Christmas Eve through midday on Christmas Day. Then, the child returns to the custodial parent for the remainder of Christmas Day. This allows the child to celebrate with both parents.
Offer Make-up Time
If you lose your regular visitation due to the custodial parent’s holiday, offer make-up time. For example, if you miss your weekend because of the custodial parent’s Labor Day visitation, ask to make up that weekend the following week.
Extend Surrounding Weekends
Try extending your weekend visitation time around the holidays. If you already have Friday evening to Sunday evening visitation, ask to pick up your child Thursday evening and keep them through Monday evening for holidays like July 4th.
Add Your Own Meaning Holidays
Petition to have personal holidays added, like birthdays, anniversaries, or cultural celebrations important to your family. This gives you extra guaranteed time on dates meaningful to you.
Keep the Child Through the School Break
Instead of transferring your child multiple times during a school break like summer or Christmas, ask to keep them for the entire break period. This allows longer quality time together and smoother transitions.
Enforce Make-up Time, if Applicable
If your parenting plan has make-up time provisions for missed weekends, but your ex denies it, go back to court to enforce the schedule. Keep detailed records of all lost time and when you requested make-up visitation.
Be Flexible and Open to Compromise
While asking for modifications, maintain open communication with your ex-spouse. Be willing to give a little to get a little. Compromising shows the court you’re focused on your child’s best interests.
Don’t Lose Precious Days – Let’s Shape Your Ideal Holiday Custody Plan
For help getting more holiday visitation as a non-custodial parent, contact our qualified family law attorneys at Martine Law. Our custody lawyers will inform you of your rights under Minnesota law and the proper procedures for seeking a new schedule. We can also represent you in negotiations and court proceedings, increasing your odds of success.
Although revising holiday visitation as a non-custodial parent can be challenging, taking proactive steps greatly improves your chances. With preparation and legal guidance, you can ensure this holiday season allows for meaningful time with your children.
Contact us today to discuss your options.