What do I do to protect my holiday parenting time?
We are in a pandemic, but this does not mean that you cannot see your children. Even if you live in another state from your children, you or your children can travel for parenting time, especially holiday parenting time. If you have an order or agreement that sets forth your parenting time for the holidays the pandemic does not change this order or agreement, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as your child is high-risk due to a severe, chronic health problem (think Cystic Fibrosis, not asthma or Reactive Airway Disease unless it is severe).
If your co-parent refuses to agree for your children to travel to see you as set forth in an order or agreement, depending on how much time you have until the travel dates you can file a Motion to Enforce Litigant’s Rights or an Order to Show Cause with the court to compel visitation. You will likely need to file a motion at least a month before travel dates as the N.J. Court Rules require at least 24 days between filing and a hearing. An Order to Show Cause is an emergency hearing that will be heard immediately by the court. There are different standards for success of a Motion and Order to Show Cause.
If you are considering filing either application with the court I recommend that you retain an experienced family law attorney. Insuring you have followed all the proper procedures can be most critical to have the best chance to enforce your holiday parenting time. Please feel free to reach out to me and I can help you navigate this uncertain time.
Melissa Knoerzer, Esq. is an attorney with ALBFRM in Southern New Jersey. Melissa and our entire team stand ready to address your family law needs – including those emergent needs that arise when holiday parenting time is at stake.