The Law Offices of Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C.

Legal How-To: Modifying Holiday Child Custody Plans Out of Court


Legal How-To: Modifying Holiday Child Custody Plans Out of Court

Child custody is a complex issue, and changes to your parenting agreement typically have to go through the California court system. However, with the holidays quickly approaching, families often need to make special arrangements or travel decisions that conflict with the current child custody arrangement. During the holidays, courthouses may not be open, judges may not be available, and you may feel like there is no way to modify your custody arrangement in time. Luckily, there are a few options for modifying your child custody arrangement out of court.

If you and your ex-spouse can agree on what’s best for you and your children during the holidays, you can work out an agreement between the two of you. This way, you can have a written document that proves you both agreed to this modification, without having to take the time to wind through the court process. In this informal modification agreement, make sure to include:

  • Which parent is picking up and dropping off the kids when exchanging custody
  • Where, when, and how long each child will stay during the holidays
  • The date of the agreements
  • Both parents’ signatures

Be sure to retain a copy of this agreement for your records, just in case anyone tries to dispute it at a later date.

If you and your ex-spouse are not able to agree on what’s best for the children, it can help to get a child custody attorney involved. Especially if you are considering an informal modification agreement or a last-minute change to your parenting plan, a family law attorney can help you figure out whether or not your agreement will hold up in court and what the best plan of action is.

Another way to make last-minute modifications is to allow for them in your initial divorce mediation. During this mediation period, a mediator can help you and the other party anticipate future problems, talk through them, and account for them in your parenting plan. There are few restrictions on how you and your ex-spouse can decide to tackle future last-minute decisions, so long as you both agree and it is established in writing. If desired, you can also designate a third party, such as a mediator, to play the role of the judge (figuratively speaking) in last-minute custody decisions.

As with any custody decision, everything depends on your relationship with your ex-spouse and the circumstances involved. If you two are on good terms, modifying your child custody agreement out of court should be relatively simple—just sit down and write up a quick explanation of the situation and sign your names to it.

However, if you two are not on good terms, it can be much more difficult to do things out of court. Disagreements and hurt feelings can arise quickly, making it much more difficult to come to an agreement and travel with your child during the holiday season. If you anticipate this being the case, try to get the process started as far in advance as possible. This can give you time to consult a family law attorney or mediator to help you through custody issues.

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The Law Office Of Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C.

Customer Reviews

Adrianne Fernandez 3/11/2021

Beyond impressed! I had been self represented through years of family law and child support court hearings and was so hesitant to hire an attorney out of fear and trusting that they would appropriately represent myself and child. After tons of research I contacted Ms. Azizi. I immediately was greeted by Lorenzo, the Office Administrator, who made me feel so welcomed and comfortable. He assisted in making communication seamless and effortless and walked me through each step of the process. Ms. Azizi heard my concerns and was extremely sensitive to the matter of FAMILY. The team did an amazing job with discovery and building a strong case that gave me confidence and I was successful in coming to an agreement with the other party, in what has yet to have been the easiest hearing of all, thanks to them. Ms. Azizi settled my case after years of stress and agony. I am grateful for finding the team and Ms. Azizi and definitely recommend them for any of your legal needs!

Linda P 6/19/2020

This law firm is the best! They have helped me so much with my Divorce and Criminal cases and I really wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have them to represent me. Lorenzo and Ro are awesome and are there to help at all times. My attorney was Mr.Edmondson and he has been amazing. This law firm is truly great and I will never go to any other one. Their responses are quick and will answer any questions you might have.

Diana H. 05/01/2021

Seven stars. I had planned to put up my reviews after my final judgment but after the first hearing, couldn't wait, and I would write this whatever the outcome of my difficult case. Soheila was simply amazing in her arguments and strategy before the judge. I felt so taken care of. I chose her for her near-30 years of experience as an attorney, the depth and strength I observed in one who had weathered hardship through her many accomplishments, her compassion, and her smarts. I can't imagine what other attorney would have Zoomed with me even in sickness to help prepare me for a legal session. And I later saw how keen she'd been in her advice. I've been deeply touched watching Soheila and her paralegal Lynda Walker fight for my child as if he were their own. They in particular have treated me with great humanity - day and night from what I experienced at my former attorney's. Lynda is a gem, on her toes, flexible, hard-working, committed to each client, humble, and sweet. She has slaved over my case, doing much of the writing, watchful of me on paper and in person, guiding me gently while encouraging me to use my voice. The staff, including the office administrator Lorenzo and Linda C, is caring, respectful, and conscientious. A band of angels.