Holidays can complicate child custody in Pennsylvania

Holiday time and celebrations can be a way for families to bond and pass on valued traditions. For split families and parents who have opposing views, the holiday season can conjure up unforeseen child custody complications. While parents in Pennsylvania may find compromise to be the timeliest and most effective way to resolve these differences, others may need legal support to navigate child custody issues this time of year.

One source of discord that can warrant outside assistance and skilled negotiation is objection to a specific observance. Religious differences may be common, but one parent may feel adamant about a child participating in certain ceremonies or events. A judge will not typically take preference of one religion or belief over another and will usually only interfere if the welfare of the child is at stake.

Another source of dispute may be the actual schedule when it comes to holiday visits. Parenting time is important and the way that time is divided can be a very real sticking point this time of year. Any agreement reached regarding days or even hours spent with one parent needs to be specific enough to avoid misinterpretation or confusion.

Many families in Pennsylvania find that personal and direct communication can resolve holiday schedule and child custody issues quickly. However, other families may not have the ability to engage in such direct talks and reach a fair resolution. Outside legal guidance and negotiations that incorporate solid communication and mutual goals of fair resolve can be the best gift families can give each other regarding child custody.


Source:, “Navigating shared custody during the holidays“, Patra Sinner, Dec. 7, 2015