Each year, shortly before the Christmas holidays, our office typically receives a number of telephone calls from prospective family law clients who are looking to bring court proceedings against the other parent of their child/children in regard to the child/children’s Christmas parenting time arrangements. As a general rule, I recommend that separated parents set out detailed Christmas holiday parenting time arrangements for their children in any separation agreements or court Orders made on consent that they enter into in order to prevent such last minute disputes. If there are no such detailed terms in place in a separation agreement or court Order, then I strongly recommend that the separated parents try to negotiate a resolution of the children’s Christmas parenting time arrangements between them. The standard practice regularly used by the courts to address such disputes is to have the child/children be with one parent from December 23rd until about 1:00 p.m. on Christmas day and with the other parent from about 1:00 p.m. on December 25th until December 27th and for the balance of the children’s Christmas vacation from school to be evenly divided between the separated parents. The last thing you want to do is to take such disputes to court as it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in legal fees not to mention causing you unnecessary stress during an already stressful time. The money you would spend on such motions would be much better spent on gifts for the children, vacations/trips for the children, and other holiday related activities. If you absolutely cannot resolve such disputes with the other parent, then you should bring court proceedings against the other party regarding these issues as soon as possible (preferably in the fall) and well before the upcoming Christmas holidays.