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Planning for spring break as divorced (or divorcing) parents

Scheduling time off of work and planning activities (whether at home or away) around spring break can be challenging enough for married parents. For divorced parents who both want to spend time with their kids during their time off school, it can be particularly difficult. Schools may not schedule spring break for the same week every year. Different schools, even within the same area, may not have the same spring break weeks. Therefore, parents may have kids with different weeks off.

All of this can make it difficult for parents to detail how spring break custody and visitation will work in their custody agreements. However, it's essential to plan your spring break custody schedule as early as possible. While you may not know when you draw up your custody agreement what week(s) it will be, it's typically a full school week off. Parents can work out whether their kids will split that time between the two parents' homes or they'll have them for the full spring break on alternate years.

There are a multitude of ways to share or alternate spring break custody. However, it's best to have some type of plan in place when you divorce. If you and your co-parent agree to deviate from it, that's fine. However, it will help prevent conflict and confusion later if one parent wants something that's different than what was agreed to. Including spring break in your custody agreement will also help give your kids a sense of security that they know how they'll be spending their vacation -- or at least where they'll be.

Nonetheless, it's generally best for the kids if parents are willing to compromise. If your co-parent would like to plan a week with the kids in Hawaii, instead of insisting that the kids spend half of their week with you as detailed in your agreement, you can ask for an extra week with them in the summer. Sometimes, it's best not to worry that you won't be the "fun" parent this spring break and let your kids can have a memorable vacation.

If you're still working out your custody and visitation agreement, talk with your attorney about how to best plan for spring break. A little extra thought and planning now will likely pay off for everyone in the years ahead.

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