Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Visitation around the holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, some people are concerned about spending time with their kids during the holidays.  I am not talking about the family around the fireplace.  The Courts are usually backlogged with parents that are trying to enforce their visitation, or prevent visitation during the holidays.  The parents wait until the last minute to dispute visitation during, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas day/eve.

As a parent, you need to understand the impact a dispute will have on your child.  Will it be positive for your child?  Remember, no matter how much you hate your child's other parent, they may love that person.  Later in life they may hate you for "lying" to them about the other parent.  If you are going to be disputing with your child's other parent, make sure you do not express any negative comments about that parent in hearing distance of your child.

Once you decide you have a dispute that only the Court can resolve, you should contact an attorney.  The holiday season is taxing on the Court system, and an attorney will help you go through it smoothly.  You do not want to fight to be with your child on Christmas day and find that you filed something wrong and have to return to court after the New Year.  What good will it do you then?  After practicing family law in Illinois for over twenty years, I have seen this happen.  Whether you are filing a rule, petition, or motion, there are specific requirements.  Then you need to explain in your writing what you want, and why you are entitled to it.   Then the other side can get around 28 days to respond.  So, if you are calculating, you do not want to file seven days before the date you want to be with your child.  You want to file at least thirty five days or more.

You need to make sure you comply with the Court's requirements like sending a copy to the other side, courtesy copies to the Judge, and other rules.

Stay tuned for my next blog on a legal issue important to you.  If you have an issue you want discussed, write to me at or go to my web site at
Remember, this is not a substitute for legal advice by an attorney that knows your facts.  The above is only for Illinois law as well as any future postings.  You should seek an attorney to discuss your facts and issues.

Jeff Jacobson, attorney at law in Illinois

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