Co-Parenting and School Vacations

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Monday January 10th, 2022.

It pays to prepare ahead, whether you’re thinking about the impending holidays or want to make co-parenting with your ex go more smoothly next summer. If the two of you work together to come up with a co-parenting plan that works for everyone, you’ll have a higher chance of co-parenting peacefully.

Co-parents should consider various aspects of arranging time and collaborating over the holidays, including the children’s ages, family customs, and religious views. Additional considerations include how well the parents get along and the kind of relationships the parents have with each of the children. It’s critical to honor the traditions that are significant to each of them.

It would help if you also considered what happens during other school breaks throughout the year. For example, if one parent takes the kids on vacation during spring break, the other parent might receive the bulk of winter break.

Make it Official

Your holiday plans should be outlined in the custody agreement you reached during your divorce. The agreement should spell out how school breaks—winter, spring, and long weekends like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and others—will be spent and allocated from year to year. 

You might also want to discuss what will happen on religious holidays that your family observes that aren’t on the school calendar. If you’re going to keep your usual parenting routine over the school break, you should specify that in your contract. If you don’t, the other parent can subsequently ask a court to decide whether the child should be split or alternated.

Attorneys can help to avoid conflicts by establishing explicit guidelines in the parenting plan or custody agreement.

Every family is unique, and every divorce falls somewhere along the amicable-to-acrimonious spectrum. To eliminate any potential confusion down the road, your plan should be clearly spelled out. Some plans are highly explicit and include set dates, such as Mom getting the third week of June and Dad getting the third week of July. Others may simply specify that each parent will have one week and that all dates must be finalized and communicated by a specific date.

Parents should make every effort to adhere to the schedule.

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