Winter break and spring vacation may be some of the best times of year for your children. Summer vacation may also be full of adventure, from sleepovers and trips to the pool to family vacations at amusement parks.
When you divorce or separate from the other parent of your children, you have to address those breaks from school and vacations in your parenting plan. It can be very difficult to get comfortable with the idea of your children having a vacation that you don’t get to participate in, and parents may feel very strongly about spending those special days with the children as much as possible.
How should you address spring break in your parenting plan?
Many people alternate special events
Alternating who spends certain days with the children is arguably the fairest approach. One year, the children spend spring break with one parent and then spend the next year with the other. Other families with multiple children might have one parent spend spring break with certain children one year and the other children the next.
If the children are still young and in grade school, parents might even share the breaks, with them spending half with one parent and half with the other. Any of these solutions can work for a family depending on the children’s ages and the work schedules of the parents. What is most important is that you agree to the terms in writing and try to come up with solutions that will work for your family so that you don’t have to readjust them every year.
In some families, one parent takes most breaks
There are two different situations in which one parent may have most spring breaks and other school holidays with the children. The first would be when there is a very uneven parenting plan. Maybe the parents live very far apart, so one parent only gets to see the children occasionally. Longer breaks from school will typically be when travel would be most realistic in those situations, so the family may agree that the parent who has the children less will spend those vacations with the kids.
Other times, it could be that one parent has a demanding career and therefore cannot commit to spending school breaks with the children. Sometimes, the parent with more parenting time will be the one who has the ability to accommodate the holidays and the school vacations to actually be there for the children.
Ideally, you and the other parent can negotiate terms that you believe will work for your family outside of court so that you set the terms yourselves. If you truly cannot agree, then a judge will make that decision by setting the terms of your parenting plan.
Including holidays, school breaks and other special events and your parenting plan will help you more thoroughly plan for your shared custody arrangements.