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Tis The Season for Custody and Visitation

It's the holiday season and my inbox is especially full. I certainly don't mind work and I wouldn't complain about a full inbox. I like staying busy and I enjoy helping my clients, but my heaii sometimes breaks for the families I serve, even more so around the holidays.

My inbox is more full than usual because my clients are reaching out to me for help with seeing their children over the holidays. In many cases, their ex is being ridiculously difficult about sharing time at this special time of year. It breaks my heart when people allow their anger over their cases affect their willingness to cooperate and co-parent over the holidays.

I've heard many judges say it, and I repeat it to my clients if they're ever tempted to do something hurtful to their ex by using their children: You need to love your children more than you hate your ex. Straightforward words with profound meaning.

Of course you're angry with your ex. That's why that person is your ex. Emotions run high when an ex and children are involved. Our legal .system is adversarial and especially so when there's a custody dispute. I know your ex is not your favorite person, but I hope you'll consider being flexible with your ex regarding holiday visitation.

If your case goes to trial, the judge will pass judgment on your behavior. You will be judged harshly if you alienate your children from their other parent. Even more so during the holiday season, you will be judged harshly if you refuse to listen to your better angels.

You need to remember the best interest of your children. As a parent, you want what's best for your children ... period - even if that means being cooperative with your ex, no matter how low­ down, dirty dog scum he or she may well be.

Make it a Meny Christmas. You have that power.

Jennifer McCall

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