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How can you address spring break and school vacation custody?

Some of the best aspects of being a parent are making memories with your child. While any day can be a special day with the right planning and attitude, there are certain times of year where your family is more likely to create memories that have a lasting impact.

Both spring break and summer vacation are critical rest times for children. They are often also filled with family trips or bonding experiences. Although planning for vacation may be the farthest thing from your mind during your divorce negotiations, it really is something you need to address in your parenting plan.

The only way to avoid conflict about who gets to spend what time with your children during summer/winter vacation and spring brakes is to agree to terms. However, you will need to come up with a solution that is fair for everyone involved. Careful planning for vacations, as well as the school year, can benefit the whole family.

Do you want to alternate or divide spring break?

Spring break typically only lasts one week. That may not be enough time for the children to really have two separate trips. In other words, for some families, splitting spring break between parents isn't the best solution.

For these families, alternating years for spring break may be a better choice. It allows the parents to save more money for more exciting spring break adventures and vacations. It also gives the children something to look forward to every year. If you don't usually do spring break trips or if the children are old enough to go on their own, splitting the week between parents may be a viable choice.

Careful planning can ensure an enjoyable summer for everyone

Because summer break is so much longer than spring break or even winter vacation, there are many more potential options for your family. If the parents live in relatively disparate locations, they might choose to split the summer, which is a common approach.

One parent could take a full month, and then the next month the other parent could have custody. During the month, the parent who doesn't have custody should have at least a weekend with the kids, if not two. Otherwise, this is a great opportunity for the kids to spend one-on-one time with both of their parents.

For some families, alternating weeks may be a better option. One week with one parent, and the next with the other can be a pleasant routine for the entire extended family. If there are work obligations to consider, planning for shared custody over the summer may require a bit more creativity. You might consider asking your children what arrangements they would prefer if they are old enough to have opinions on the issue.

Planning ahead for important times like summer vacation, winter vacation and spring break is the best way to avoid conflict while parenting with a former spouse. The more thorough you are in your parenting plan, the fewer issues you will have to address in the future. A thorough parenting plan can also make custody easier on the children, because they will always know what to expect.

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