This is the time of year when newly separated parents have to figure out how to handle time with the kids during Christmas and winter vacation. Even if this isn’t your first Christmas as a divorced family, there are still possibilities for change to past years’ plans, but it is never easy. If you haven’t reached an agreement for this time of year, you need to SOON.
One of the worst ways to end up handling this is to have to ask the court to decide for you. Many Massachusetts judges now have closed lists, which means if a certain number of cases are scheduled to come into court on a day that is deemed full, you will need to pick another motion day. Some judges are now scheduling in mid-January.
Remember also if the schedule for the first Christmas holiday is not really what you want, you can always discuss alternating the times next year. A holiday parenting plan where the holidays are equally important to both parents often works best by flipping year-to-year. That way the kids get to share with both parents, and they get to create new traditions, which will help everyone adjust and move on.
Until I got online last night I hadn’t realized that we are ten years out from the Goodridge decision. I can still remember where I was when I read it back in 2003, and it was the only time I had ever cried (I was so moved by the language) when reading a decision. It wasn’t until last night that I realized Peter Zupcofska, my partner in the Private Client Group here, had written an amicus brief on behalf of Goodridge.
In the 10 years since Goodridge, gay marriage has become woven into the social fabric of Massachusetts. Initially due to DOMA, the legal process of both gay marriage and gay divorce was extremely complicated.
Over the course of time other states joined Massachusetts, some not allowing gay marriage but allowing gay divorce of couples legally married in another state.
This past June, DOMA was overturned by the Supreme Court. Since then, gay divorce, at least in Massachusetts and the other states that allow gay marriage/divorce has become simpler, cleaner and more straightforward.
Currently gay marriage is also in the gossip news as the Cheney family seems to be enmeshed in dispute.
And, guess what — after Goodridge, the world didn’t end in Massachusetts.
Flags placed by volunteers at Bourne National Cemetery
At a time when we have been at war for 12 years, all of us must know someone who is a veteran. Politics aside, we are all deeply grateful for the sacrifices that thousands of men and women have made when fighting on behalf of our country. I have briefly touched on some of those sacrifices in previous posts.
Americans all over the country have come up with thoughtful and creative ways to show their appreciation, from placing flags at a National Cemetery to offering veterans a discount at their place of business. Whichever way you choose to observe the day, take the time to thank a veteran. You may never know how much it means to them.