It's the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. However, as we all know, often even in the most functional families, the holiday season causes tension. In the case of newly separated parents in Pennsylvania and around the country, the holidays can lead to increased conflict and hurt feelings. Parents will often selfishly attempt to withhold custody from the other parent during the holidays to get back at the other parent without thinking about the fact that their focus should be on what is best for their children, especially during the holidays. Although most final court orders will cover how the holidays are divided between the parties, many interim court orders do not. You might be surprised how many emergency motions are presented before judges in Allegheny County and across the state seeking some kind of custody for the holidays. This is why at our office, we encourage our clients to think about holiday custody in advance and even to make their own arrangements regarding custody. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when considering holiday custody arrangements:
Almost everyone has seen at least one episode of the Maury Povich Show or Jerry Springer during which the climactic moment is the announcement of whether or not the hero (or sometimes villain) of the episode is or is NOT the father. This scene is usually followed by the gentleman in question celebrating a result he expected accompanied by the plaintive sobs of the mother who was SURE that he was the father and promised he was the ONLY ONE.
With the whirlwind of publicity surrounding Caitlyn (formerly "Bruce") Jenner's coming out as transgender, the often overlooked issue of transgendered individuals and transgender children in particular has become hot topic. Of specific importance in the family law community are issues including transgender children's access to resources, support and facilities they need. This can become especially trying for families going through divorce and custody litigation in addition to struggling to adjust to life with a transgender child.