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Scheduling Vacations After a Divorce Using a Parenting Plan


The summer is almost over, and school will be starting soon. If you were lucky enough to have summer break off, it is almost time to get back to work. Since you are getting back into your routine, it is also time to return to the regular schedule of child custody and parenting time.

The beginning of the school year is an excellent time to look back and evaluate how the summer went regarding parenting time, time off from work and school, and vacation schedules. For divorced couples with children, vacation planning can be a real problem and even a point of contention.

Planning a Vacation During Summer Break

If there is no coordinated effort to plan vacations, then you might wind up in a situation where you have scheduled a trip with your children only to find your that your ex has also planned a family vacation at the same time.

If you have a plan where your ex-spouse gets to choose dates first, but they wait too long to make a plan, then you might be stuck not being able to get the days off from work you need. Booking a last-minute vacation can also be very expensive, or you might not be able to get reservations or flights to where you want to go.

When creating a parenting plan during the divorce process, you need to have a discussion related to vacation time. At some point, you’re both going to want to spend extended vacation time with the children. With the stipulation that there are no issues with each parent spending time with the children, each of you should be able to have that time away without causing too much of a problem or inconvenience for the other.

For example, you could establish a plan that allows you to have priority when scheduling family vacations on even number years. On those years, your ex can schedule a vacation with the children, but they will have to wait to see what your plans are first and then plan accordingly.

The caveat is that you cannot, whether intentionally or accidentally, delay your planning to the point where your spouse will then have trouble planning a vacation. Placing a deadline in the schedule will alleviate this issue. If you are going to plan a vacation with your kids for the summer, the parenting plan might say that you must schedule vacations by March or April. Early scheduling will give your spouse ample time to plan a vacation as well. Of course, if you do not have your vacation planned by the time stated, then your ex-spouse will be able to schedule a vacation with the children. This is also assuming that all vacations are being scheduled during the summer, which is not always the case.

Planning Vacations During the School Year

Your parenting plan also needs to include guidelines for any vacations that take place during the school year and over holiday breaks. Regardless of when the vacation takes place, planning should happen with enough lead time so you or your ex can plan accordingly.

Vacations are an excellent opportunity to unwind and enjoy time with family without the stresses of your everyday life. The last thing you want is to have your vacations become another source of anxiety. Vacation planning is another detail that should be worked out as a part of the parenting plan, so you and your ex both know what the expectations are while planning a vacation. The more you have documented, the less stress there will be in the long run.

Explore Your Legal Options by Scheduling a Consultation Today

Anthony LoPresti is a family law attorney who works with people in all areas of divorce and family law, including child custody and parenting time. If you have any questions about custody, creating a parenting plan, or looking into having changes made to an existing agreement, contact Anthony LoPresti for a free consultation.

Contact the Law Offices of Anthony J. LoPrestiat (516) 252-0223 to schedule a consultation today.

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