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Can we temporarily change custody arrangements for the holidays?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2023 | Child Custody

During the holidays, we tend to stick with our annual family traditions. For many, this means staying at home, preparing a holiday feast and just being in the moment with the family. Nonetheless, some families may decide to go on an out-of-the-country trip instead of the usual barbecue in the garden.

Normally, there is no issue with changing holiday plans. However, it might not be the same for co-parents with an existing child custody order.

An informal modification: The other parent’s permission

If the holiday arrangement set on the custody order differs from what you have planned for this year’s holidays, you can discuss it with the other parent and ask for their permission. Usually, if you are on good terms with the other parent and the new holiday plan only applies for that year, you do not have to bring the matter to court. However, it would be safe to keep a record of the informal agreement.

Should you bring the matter to court?

What if the new holiday plan is likely to happen again in the future? Do you have to petition the court for a modification? It depends on the court’s findings.

In Ohio, parents can request to change the terms of the custody order if there are substantial changes in circumstances and modifying the current order is in the child’s best interests. The court will consider several factors to determine whether a modification is necessary.

If you are unsure whether your new holiday plan requires a petition to modify with the court, having an experienced legal representative review your situation may help bring you clarity. Accordingly, they can also help you explore your options.