Springing Into Spring Break; Top 3 Spring Break Tips for Co-Parents
Is it a cruise? Disney World? Bahamas? Anna Maria Island? Staycation? Whatever your plans may be, your kids have been counting the days to Spring Break since the day they returned to school after Winter Break. The last thing on their mind is a dispute between their parents about the logistics of Spring Break timesharing. What can you do to avoid such a dispute? Follow these Top 3 Tips for Co-Parenting during Spring Break.
Step 1: Set Dates & Times –. What does the Parenting Plan say about Spring Break timesharing? Do you alternate years or equally divide the break? Does Spring Break overlap with any other designated holidays, such as Easter? These are all questions to ask yourself early in the calendar year to clear up any misunderstandings and plan in advance for Spring Break. Chances are, if you have Spring Break timesharing for all or a part of Spring Break, you want to make uninterrupted plans with your child(ren). Communicate with your co-parent in advance of Spring Break to address all exchange times, locations and potential conflicts. It is unlikely that you will get a hearing before the Court to resolve a conflict unless you address the conflict early on.
Step 2: Comply with Travel Provisions – In addition to discussing exchange dates and times, your Parenting Plan likely has a provision for out-of-state and out-of-country travel. Be sure to check those provisions of your Parenting Plan so that you are in compliance with the agreement. Failure to comply with notice and itinerary provisions in your Parenting Plan can provide your co-parent with an opportunity to object to your travel plans. Do your children need their passports for travel? If so, who has possession of the passports? Coordinate itineraries and passport exchanges well in advance to avoid last minute panics.
Step 3: Enjoy! – If you have followed Steps 1 & 2, you have likely set yourself up for a stress-free and seamless Spring Break exchange with your children and co-parent. Depending on their age and the timing of the divorce proceedings, having a “divided” family can be difficult for children. Spring Break, like all school breaks and vacations, is a time to make life-long memories. Isolate your children from any co-parenting conflicts, big or small, and enjoy the family moments. Lastly, take the time to take care of yourself. Co-parenting can be a difficult and strenuous relationship. Your personal health is important to the overall effectiveness of the co-parenting team.