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Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Santa Clause: The Christmas Classic About a Family Law Dispute

Disputes over the fairness of child custody agreements are more common during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. Perhaps the greatest indication of this fact is that a classic Christmas movie uses this very scenario as its main plot device.

How Does The Santa Clause Relate to Family Law?

In The Santa Clause, Tim Allen plays a man who is frustrated to learn that his ex-wife and her new partner have told their son there is no Santa Claus. They trade barbs during their custody exchange, and get called out by their son for fighting all the time. By the end of the opening sequence, both of the parents and their child have made it clear they are dissatisfied with their current physical custody agreement as well.

If this hits a little too close to home, you are not alone. Luckily, you do not need to become Santa, discover the true meaning of Christmas, and gift your ex’s new love a vintage Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Whistle in order to improve your family life.

At the Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, we have helped many families in the Reading area and beyond negotiate new child custody agreements years after a divorce has been finalized.

Changing Child Custody Agreement

Very rarely does a person’s life circumstances remain unchanged from the time they get divorced until their children reach the age of adulthood. Either or both partners may remarry, get a new job, lose a job, need to move to a different part of the country, or make a lifestyle change like converting to a new religion. When a big life change occurs, it is proper to consider whether your custody agreement should change as well.

As your children age, it may also be appropriate to take their preferences into consideration. Perhaps they would like to spend the Christmas holiday with one parent every year and spend more time with the other parent in the summer? Maybe they like spending time with both parents over the holidays but do not want to visit certain extended family members. As long as they are not being unduly influenced by a selfish mom or dad, a teen’s wishes are valid.

It is also important to remember that custody has two parts — physical custody and legal custody. While much of the focus is on physical custody, legal custody is just as important. If you have legal custody, you have a say in your child’s upbringing. You get to help parent them, which includes things like teaching them about particular religious traditions or explaining how Santa is able to visit homes with no fireplaces.

Frustrated with your current agreement? Contact Our Office Today

If you are frustrated with your current physical custody agreement or are constantly fighting with your ex about how your child should be parented, and you have evidence that your current agreement is not in the best interest of your child, we may be able to help. We have many years of experience handling these types of cases, so we can advise you if you have a legitimate shot at getting the change you want, or if it would take a holiday miracle to fix things. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.


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