If you and your co-parent are in the process of working out your child custody agreement, you’re likely determining how the kids will be dividing their time or spending alternate years with each of you around major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as during spring and vacations. However, there are a lot of other times during the school year where your kids will have a half-day or full day off that you might not be considering.
Don’t forget the other holidays that your local schools may celebrate, like Presidents’ Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day. Likely, there are also days off on the school calendar for teachers’ workshops and parent-teacher meetings. Some may just be half-days off. It’s a good idea to download the calendars for your kids’ schools and use those as you plan.
These additional days and partial days off may not be the same every year — particularly if they don’t involve holidays. However, you can work as many as possible into your parenting time schedule. The important thing is for both parents to be aware of them so that one or the other can make arrangements to care for the kids or to have other family members care for them.
You may choose to include as many of these “lesser” school holidays in your parenting schedule as possible, with the option to “swap” a certain number if a parent isn’t able to take the kids as planned. Some online co-parenting apps even have tools that help facilitate swap requests for parents.
Your family law attorney can help you work to develop a custody agreement and parenting plan that are as detailed as reasonably possible so that you can minimize conflict and confusion for yourselves — and, most importantly, for your kids — down the road.