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Parenting Plan: Creating a winter break schedule (part 3 of 4)

When separating parties have children together a parenting plan designates custody of the children. In Washington, the custodial parent is known as the primary residential parent as he or she is the parent that the children primarily reside with. The parenting plan also designates when each parent has the child during school breaks or school vacations (winter, spring, summer). This post is part three of a four part post on creating a winter break schedule.

As mentioned in part two when creating the parenting plan’s winter break schedule, most parents tend to use Christmas Day to exchange the children. Sometimes, depending on the children’s school schedule, using Christmas Day as the midway point or exchange day for the winter break results in a disproportionate amount of time.

As an example of how designating Christmas Day to exchange the kids can result in an uneven winter break schedule, let’s say school releases for winter break on a Friday. And Friday happens to be the 20th day of the month. As the parents are exchanging the children on Christmas Day (12/25), the parent who has the first half of the break (from when school gets out to Christmas Day) has the kids for about 4 ½ days of the winter break. The parent who has the kids for the second half of the break (Christmas Day to the day before school begins) has them for about 10 ½ days (since school usually starts on Monday following New Years, let’s say in this example school starts Monday 1/6).

At first glance it may seem unfair that one parent has the kids for the majority of the winter break. But since the parents alternate the first and second half of the winter break on an annual basis, the parents also alternate this unequal division of time.

Some parents dislike that schedule, even if the unequal division of time alternates. The concluding post of this four part series will discuss the alternative of the parents equally dividing the winter break. AKIONA LAW, PLLC makes the information and materials on this blog available for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be legal advice. See DISCLAIMER.