Options for dealing with holiday break parenting time issues

The holiday season is a busy time of year for families and family lawyers.

Often parenting schedules that are followed during the school year will be different during holiday periods. Parents may wish to change the regular parenting schedule during holiday breaks to ensure that special days within that time frame are shared equally or to allow for some additional vacation time while the children are out of school. If parents cannot agree about parenting schedules during a school break they may ask a Judge to decide this issue for them. However, the Court of Queen’s Bench is so busy at this time of year with applications regarding holiday parenting time that at a certain date, court dates fill up and parents may not be able to have an application heard before the holiday period begins. In 2019 the Court of Queen’s Bench Holiday Closure period runs from December 24, 2019 to January 1, 2020 inclusive.

If parents find themselves unable to appear in the Court of Queen’s Bench regarding this issue they may wish to consider mediation. Problems that seem very difficult to resolve can often be worked out in mediation. The lawyers at Latitude Family Law are all trained mediators.

Arbitration is another option for parents who need third-party assistance to determine a holiday parenting schedule. In this process, the parents would agree to allow an arbitrator to make a specific decision.

We recommend thinking ahead about upcoming holiday breaks when co-parenting to ensure that schedules are worked out well in advance. This will assist in avoiding a last minute time-crunch to resolve holiday parenting schedules.