Deciding on how to split time with your children can be one of the most complex aspects of divorce for you and your co-parent. Both of you likely want to spend as much time as possible with their children while balancing the need to earn a living and have a life of your own.
In the chaos of the divorce process, it’s surprisingly easy to forget that your children are not at school every week of the year. If you focus too much on what will work when teachers care for your children for most of the day, you can find yourself encountering issues when the kids have vacation time. The summer, in particular, can be problematic, as the children will still need looking after during this considerable break from their normal routine.
Be prepared to keep your plans flexible
While most of the year might adhere to a set pattern, say you will have the kids Monday to Thursday, and they will go with your ex Friday through Sunday, holidays may work best if you alter that schedule to some degree. Being flexible with your co-parent makes it more likely they will be flexible with you – whether that is helping you out by taking the kids for an extra day or allowing you to take them away when it’s not your turn.
Give each other permission to take the kids away
If you want to travel far with the kids, you will need the other parent’s permission. Without it, you could find a police officer across state lines asking awkward questions or a border agency official refusing to let you board a flight. Make sure to outline the process you’ll follow regarding holiday travel in your parenting plan accordingly.
Consider staggering your time off
If you can elect when to take time off work, then consider taking it at different times than each other. Say you take the first week of the summer break off, and your soon-to-be ex-spouse books the last week. That’s a week less you each need to worry about childcare during the longest break of the year. Making these plans part of your parenting plan can help everyone to know what to expect.
Courts want to see two parents doing what is best for their children. If you can come up with a plan that demonstrates this kind of effort, then a judge should be happy to sign off on it.