Dealing With Divorce During Spring Break
Sharing custody of your children with your former spouse during holidays and school vacations can either be smooth sailing or a nightmare. Many times, it depends on the divorce proceedings.
Planning allows you to ensure that your child is taken care of during their time off from school. You can do this by working with your former spouse to write up an acceptable schedule for both of you that benefits your child/children. However, you may find yourself facing a few challenges on your way into the sunset.
Challenges of Divorce During the Holidays
Below are a few challenges you may face while trying to balance visitation, divorce, and spring break. We have also included some tips to help make it easier for your children and your former partner to spend time together without conflict.
Uncoordinated plans and schedules
Co-parenting or sharing child custody may be hard if you don’t have a system in place to coordinate plans and update your schedules.
A shared calendar is an excellent way to merge plans that both parents may have with school breaks. It also makes it easier to inform your co-parent of any problem or conflict with the current schedule and offer a solution. This will allow both parents to resolve conflicts and develop a feasible schedule for everyone quickly.
Unfavorable work schedules
In custody arrangements, the divorce courts usually approve parenting plans that contain specified provisions about all school holidays, including spring break.
The plans usually specify which parent a child will be spending time with while out of school on a particular holiday. However, as they don’t usually factor in the child’s extra-curricular activities or the parents’ work schedules, they may make it harder to follow the already laid out plan.
Making alternative arrangements with your former partner to switch dates and times or getting your family members to care for your child beforehand helps ensure that your child enjoys their holiday and no problems arise that may result in another custody battle based on neglect.
Not alternating spring break custody
As spring break occurs every year, it would be unfair to have your child spend spring break with one particular parent year in, year out. Alternating between each spring break allows each parent to spend more time with the child on that specific holiday without conflicts arising.
A lack of flexibility
Say your former spouse would like to take your children on a fantastic vacation, but it’s your turn to have custody. Do you let them go with him or her or stay with you at home, even though they want to go?
This may present a challenge that may influence your children’s perception of you if it isn’t handled correctly, especially when one considers that a divorce may have already influenced how they view you or your former spouse.
In a situation such as this, it’s best to find a compromise. Allow your children to go on the trip, but also extend the same courtesy in the future. This shows your children that not only are you flexible but that their best interests are a primary concern for both of you.
Unscheduled out-of-state vacations
Sometimes, divorce custody agreements do not include provisions that specify whether your former spouse is allowed to take your children out of state for school holidays or whether they should inform you of their travel plans.
If your children are reluctant to go or your ex-partner plans to take them to a place that may potentially be dangerous, inform your lawyer. This may help prevent any harm from coming to your children or prevent your spouse from violating the custody agreement.
Actions like this would also be a good basis for you to include a clause in your custody agreement. Doing so informs you of your former spouse’s plans that involve your children.
Children getting in trouble with the law
Divorce affects children just as much as it affects the adults getting a divorce. This may explain why sometimes, children whose parents are divorced or in single-parent homes may choose to act out.
Say, for instance, your underage teen decides to steal your car for a drive and gets into an accident. Did you know that you, as the car owner and their guardian, will be held accountable for any illegal activity or damage that occurs while they are in your care?
Talking to your child about the divorce and involving them in decision making (if they are mature enough) shows them that you, as their parent, are holding their best interests at heart.
Divorce proceedings may sometimes turn hostile. However, ensuring that your children are not severely affected by the results of your or your former partner’s actions should always come first.