Mediating Conflict,
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Creating a parenting plan for the upcoming spring break

With spring break typically arriving in March for many schools, divorced parents may scramble on the logistics of any potential trips and, more importantly, parenting time.

In some cases, the spring break parenting time issue is addressed in the divorce agreement. For the most part, scheduling may work out well if effectively coordinated. However, even with a well-crafted plan, problems and disagreements may surface.

Planning and communication are essential

Whether it is a vacation or — in the time of COVID-19 — a “stay-cation,” spring break can be a wonderful time for children and families. However, spring break may provide scheduling conflicts with parenting plans. The complications may be even more so if you have children attending different schools.

That is why planning and prompt communication are so essential, and that parenting plans must include thorough details. Here are some parenting plan details addressing spring break:

  • Parenting time is split equally with one parent having the child during the first half and the other parent during the second half unless otherwise agreed.
  • The parents of the child may mutually alter the parenting time schedule. However, neither of them may unilaterally change the parenting schedule. Any requests for certain changes must occur with as much notice as possible.

Disagreements on parenting time often flair up when travel situations surface. Lengthy time away from home and great distances from home may spark anxiety with the parent not making the trip.

In order to avoid such scenarios, it is best that your spring break travel plans with your child occur during your allotted parenting time. However, in instances where you want to travel outside your scheduled parenting time, consult closely with the child’s other parent and get any approvals in writing.

Clarity and honesty

When it comes to a spring break parenting plan and any suggested changes, please be clear and honest about your intentions when discussing with your child’s other parent. Think matters through and anticipate any potential situations that could lead to conflict. Also, avoid any last-minute communication. Do your best to make spring break a special time for your child.