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School Breaks And Co-Parenting


School breaks are something kids look forward to, sometimes for months ahead of time, but if you are co-parenting while separated, you may have mixed emotions about winter break, spring break, and the summer expanse between one grade and the next. After all, there may be ambiguity about which house the kids will be at if you and your spouse recently separated and currently have a plan in place for each of you to be active in your child’s school schedule while living separately.

Often, separated parents are in the process of obtaining a divorce. If this is true for you, a parenting plan and custody agreement will be an important tool in understanding how a range of childrearing considerations will be handled, including which parent the child will be staying with over breaks and if those schedules will alternate or not. Share your concerns and hopes for the future with a skilled Tampa family law attorney. Then, next steps can be pursued.

Each Family Has Its Own Priorities

Sometimes, it is helpful to understand your school break priorities, as a parent, before entering into a parenting plan negotiation. For example, you may have particular holidays that you want to spend with your children. If your spouse also enjoys the same holiday traditions, a period of negotiation may be required. You and your spouse may decide to rotate holidays or split them each year.

For families that celebrate Christmas, some choose to alternate the entire winter holiday each year, meaning the kids are with you from December 23 until January 1 one year and with your ex-spouse for that timeframe the next. Others do not like the alternating approach. Instead, they will make an agreement where they spend Christmas Eve with the kids and then the children will spend Christmas Day with their ex-spouse. There is no right or wrong answer, it is what works best and feels right for you and your family.

Summer Plans May Change Over Time

When drafting parenting agreements, you may want to include language for each phase of a child’s life. There are many ways that children can age out of parenting plan guidelines. This could occur if there is language about your child attending a summer camp they love, but the camp itself only provides activities for kids up to age 12. Even roughly outlining what will occur for the child’s summer at the age of 13 and up can help in avoiding future disputes.

Are you worried about how school breaks and holiday schedules will be handled as you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse begin to co-parent? There are tools that can make the process easier, including drafting a parenting plan both parties are comfortable agreeing to. Before signing off on an agreement you aren’t sure about or don’t understand, talk to an attorney. To have your questions answered, schedule an appointment with the compassionate lawyers at HD Law Partners. Co-parenting is smoother when guidelines are outlined and maintained. To learn more, call 813-964-7878 to schedule a free consultation.

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