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KY Holiday Visitation - Divorce

If you have questions about your holiday visitation schedule, you probably should have already filed your Motion with the local family court in Kentucky.  Trying to fix holidays for the current calendar year is like putting a Band-Aid on a severed finger. That said, there are a number of guidelines that a seasoned family law practitioner will generally advise to clients.  It is important to remember (1) try to resolve differences amicably; (2) always follow any existing orders; and (3) if there are no orders, you have the right to do whatever you want (and so does your spouse). I will deal now with issues surrounding (2) above, where no actual orders exist.  While you have the right to do what you want, it is seldom advisable to make unilateral decisions.  Family court Judges do NOT like the following: parents that unilaterally make decisions, parents that don't act in the best interest of the children, and parents that keep the children from the other parents absent very good reason.  I refer to these parents as "bad actors." Judges also have ways to level the field should one party act unilaterally or not in the best interest of the children.  Judges will take away future time, will give this year's "losing" party the same time that the bad actor had last year, will make a finding of contempt and give legal fees or other sanctions to the bad actor, and may give primary custody or decision making to the innocent loser. There are general guidelines issued by each family court.  Kenton County holiday schedule is on page 72 of this link and is summarized here: 2014 and even numbered years:

  • Thanksgiving to Mother from 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday until 7:00 p.m. on Friday.
  • Christmas Eve to Father from 12/23 at noon until 12/24 at 10:00 p.m.
  • Christmas Day to Mother from 12/24 at 10:00 p.m. until 12/26 at  6:00 p.m.

*NOTE: this schedule reverses for 2015 and odd numbered years.  If you do not have a schedule in place and both parties enjoy overnight parenting time, it is encouraged to follow this schedule. The Kentucky MODEL schedule differs, and is based on a "custodial" and "non-custodial" parent, but more importantly, splits Thanksgiving Day and 12/25 every year: Parent exercising time-sharing/visitation. 1) During the first full year after divorce/custody proceedings have been filed, the non-residential parent should have time-sharing/visitation scheduled as follows: a) New Year's Day and July 4th from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. b) Thanksgiving, beginning at 6:00 p.m. the day school ends until 3:00 p. m. Thanksgiving Day. c) Christmas/Winter Break, beginning at 6:00 p.m. the day school ends until noon on December 25. Note: this also rotates each year thereafter. Parties are highly encouraged, by professionals, child centered therapists and the Courts to WORK TOGETHER and to put the needs of the children first.  If possible, allow the children to attend all or the majority of family functions of both parents.   If you have further questions or issues which cannot readily be resolved, first contact your attorney.  If you do not have an attorney and need consultation, advice, or representation, contact the Boudlin Law Firm in Northern Kentucky at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).  You may also contact my paralegal at [email protected] Best wishes for happy holidays from the Bouldin Law Firm!!


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