Spring Break is often a trigger for parenting time disputes. Who were they with last year? Did they do anything during their break? What activities or events did they have to miss at the other parent’s home?
It is a good idea to discuss Spring Break and Summer parenting time in advance when creating the original your original parenting plan. While parents most often decide to trade-off having the children with them in odd or even years, this schedule and plan may not account for special circumstances or opportunities that may arise for the children. Also, if one parent can’t take a week off work, but the other can, consider this in your schedule. There isn’t anything that prevents the children from spending every Spring Break with one parent unless you pre-determined this in the parenting plan that has been made an order of the court.
Parenting plans are meant to be a work in progress for parents and children with some structure for times when parents cannot otherwise agree to what is best for the children. For a single circumstance of change to the parenting plan a one page, signed agreement or even an E-mail exchange can be enough. The more permanent or long-term plans should be submitted to the Court as a stipulated amendment to the parenting plan to be made an order of the Court.
I have seen a number of parenting plans and each is dependent on the family involved. Some plans have the children dividing the 1st and 2nd half of the week. Some commit to one parent exercising Spring Break every year and the other parent having a Fall break. Most often the parents choose to have the children with one parent in the odd years and the other parent in the even years. This often – when practical – gives parents time to make arrangements for a trip or activities and clear work schedules.
Here are 3 considerations when drafting a spring break parenting plan
- The age and activity level of the children.
- The parent’s ability to take time off or be with the children during their time off.
- Whether there are step-siblings or half siblings with the same or different vacation schedules.
Regardless of the situation, give your children some freedom and voice in what their Spring Break and Summer vacation plans looks like. They too have friends, ideas, homework and activities that should be a consideration. Understand that the back-n-forth your kids must now endure is for your benefit more than their own.
For more information on parenting plans, changes to the plans or ideas to help make this transition better please call me at 720-722-0776.