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Winter Holidays and Child Custody in Kentucky

The Winter Holidays, while usually a time of great joy, can bring about major stress in a child custody case. Depending on the ages of the children involved, this can result in conflicts as to items as mundane as where the little ones wake up on Christmas morning to substantive issues of travel to far-flung ski or tropical destinations.

While Kentucky has attempted to set forth a specific recommended schedule for routine years, I typically recommend flexibility and a willingness to make informal adjustments from time to time as a goodwill gesture, to be redeemed as necessary in the future. In my practice, we strive to advise litigants to be thoughtful and considerate as a matter of course, as courts do tend to look at one's flexibility over time when makiong adjustments to longrunning routines.

When making holiday plans, a lititgant needs to consider first the plans and consideration of the other parent and their extended family, knowing that if they can't get the parent to agree, a judge must be convinced to approve the deviation. One should consider the following:

- Is the destination and activity level at the destination appropriate for the age of the children?

- Is the travel overlong to the destination, considering the time to be spent, or is the extent of the activity too taxing for the length of travel?

- Are the travel companions appropriate?

- Is the travel going to impinge too greatly on the activities planned by the other parent?

- Is there a tradeoff that could be accomplished on another part of the break?

Through polite effort and consideration, successful accomodations on child custody can be reached in any holiday.