Co-Parenting Tips for Spring Break

It’’s hard to imagine that spring, let alone spring break, is rapidly approaching. This can be an important consideration in your child custody schedule and to avoid future issues, it’s best to plan ahead. The following co-parenting tips for spring break can help things go smoothly.

Plan During Custody Negotiations

This is the best time to make arrangements as it eliminates conflict by having the time set up under the jurisdiction of the court. There’s plenty of options here including splitting time in half, alternating years, allow the other parent to take the equivalent amount of time at another time such as a summer vacation, or treat it like any other holiday. These are just a few examples; you’ll need to find whatever works best for your family and situation.

Flexibility is Key

This is true no matter what child custody issue is being considered. This is invaluable for the well-being of the kids. They need to know you can work together and co-parent. Instead of considering the negative impact on you, consider the available opportunities for the children. 

For example, the other parent taking the kids on an amazing vacation will benefit them in many ways. In return, you should get the same consideration in a similar situation. Being flexible shows kids that what’s best for them is of paramount importance.

As the children age, circumstances change and other considerations may occur. Working together and being flexible avoids having a court system, with limited knowledge of the family dynamic, make the decision for you. Not to mention, the negative impact that disputes have on the kids. Co-parenting means putting the children first as well as keeping them out of conflicts and disputes.

Consider Co-Parents’ and Children’s Schedules 

The main thing here is to be realistic. With young children, spring break can cause child care problems. Be cognizant of that and plan accordingly. Also, the availability of vacation and time-off is an important facet to consider as well. Taking work schedules into consideration when planning custody over spring break may save one parent a lot of stress or money when it comes to finding available child care.

Older kids may have jobs, might be sports, band, play or other extra-curricular activities to consider in planning. This is dynamic and morphs as the years pass. As mentioned before, flexibility is absolutely crucial. Also, do not assume what the kids want to do. Perhaps they have already made plans with friends of something similar. Be considerate of scheduling conflicts that arise from what the children would like to do. Talk to your kids prior to making any big spring break plans to avoid conflicts in their schedules as well.

Consider Family Traditions

Often times, spring break is nothing more than a school vacation with no further attachments. In those circumstances, it’s much easier and utilizing previously mentioned options is sufficient. However, sometimes spring break can encompass family traditions, such as a getaway that includes extended family and/or friends. Traditions are important and can really matter a lot more than you think to the kids. Every effort should be made to ensure these traditions remain intact.

Keep Things Simple

Everyone, especially the children, needs to understand the plan for spring break or any custody arrangement. Having something to look forward to along with stability are two things kids really need in their lives. Having a special plan or event gives them a reason to get excited and talk to their friends about it. Any confusion regarding the plan negates this and can be very disappointing for the children. If the decree stipulates the parents will decide on a year by year basis then this should be done as soon as possible, well in advance of the break. 

Create a Backup Plan

Even if an amicable split occurred and the decree has included deciding spring break plans on a yearly basis sometimes things change and an impasse occurs. Whether it be the circumstances changed, living situations evolve, or perhaps the relationship between parents has soured. Having a backup plan in place is important to avoid future issues. If the agreement states that spring break custody will be decided on a yearly basis, then perhaps include a stipulation that gives one parent say over the even years and the other odd years anytime an agreement cannot be reached.

Unlike other holidays that can inherently cause stress, such as figuring out gifts at Christmas or all the preparation and planning that go into Thanksgiving, spring break offers an opportunity to simply enjoy some time off together. The team at Family Matters Law Group understands the importance of quality parenting time and work without clients in making sure this is considered right from the start.