If you are contemplating divorce, or have already made the decision to end your marriage, and you have minor children of the marriage you are likely concerned about how the divorce will impact the children as well as your relationship with them. Among the many questions you may have may be “ How does a judge decide division of the holidays in Tennessee? ” For specific advice it is always best to consult with an experienced Tennessee family law attorney. There are, however, some basic guidelines that typically apply to how holidays are handled in a Tennessee divorce.
During the divorce process, both parents are required to try and agree on a “permanent parenting plan”, or PPP. As the name implies, the PPP is basically the framework for how the children will be raised by both parents post-divorce. Typically, one parent will be designated as the primary residential parent. This is the parent with whom the children will live the majority of the time. A visitation schedule will then be developed to allow the children to spend time with the other parent. The law encourages both parents to play an active role in the care and maintenance of the children post-divorce. Therefore, a liberal visitation schedule is encourage absent a reason to limit visitation.
Holidays are also typically addressed in the PPP. In the event the parents are unable to agree on a PPP the court will have to intervene. In that case, the court will usually institute a holiday schedule that rotates every other year. For example, if the children spend Thanksgiving with the mother the first year they will spend it with the father the following year. The Christmas holiday is usually divided by allowing the children to spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas day with the other parent one year and then switching the next year. Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are usually spent with the appropriate parent. A specific amount of time is also typically designated each summer vocation to be spent with the non-primary residential parent.
Keep in mind, however, that the age of the children will also be a factor when determining how the holidays will be divided. The younger the children, the less upheaval a court will want to cause. As a result, holiday visitation may be for shorter periods of time until the child gets a bit older.
If you have specific questions or concerns about your Tennessee divorce, consult with the experienced Tennessee family law attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.