Do you leave the state when you vacation? Are there certain holidays that hold special meaning for one side of the family? What about summer vacation? Is there an out-of-state relative that expects to see the kids during school breaks? Then there are those holiday weekends that can wreak havoc upon the usual schedule. It is essential to address these issues in your shared custody plan as early as possible.
Although it may be time-consuming and difficult, The more detailed you can be, the better considering the length of time involved and the evolving lives of your children over time.
Vacations are a common source of conflict. Even if you have an amicable relationship, a detailed custody agreement can eliminate future unforeseen conflicts and aid in continuing a positive relationship.
Vacations usually work around the school schedule. You might avoid specific dates for future vacation times by setting aside blocks of uninterrupted time for both parents to take vacations each year. The parents could alternate the spring and fall breaks. One parent would have the spring break, and the other for fall break, alternating each year. This plan allows either parent to schedule a vacation for their respective week. For the summer vacations, parents can be creative in dividing the summer. However, take care that there is explicit language for any out-of-state holidays.
Issues around Holidays
If you go out of town for some holidays, make sure you provide for that. If it is logistically possible, you can split holiday days, like Christmas and Thanksgiving. If that is not possible, consider alternating vacations yearly. You can split the rotation by having your kids on Christmas in the year your kids are having Thanksgiving with the other parent. You must specify any necessary details for any travel arrangement needed to facilitate any travel plan.
Be sensitive concerning the children’s age and preferences. You might want to try to provide for further mediation as the children grow up and circumstances change.
Long weekends can be a great source of conflict, and pre-planning is advised. Sit down with a calendar and check with the kids’ school. Try to divide these up or otherwise make arrangements for childcare and other situations that three-day weekends create. If some of these weekends involve out-of-state travel, provide language.
You Can Always Agree
Remember that your Agreement or Order is there ultimately to reduce conflict. Some parents believe or act as though the Agreement or Order must be followed unless the court says otherwise. Nothing could be further from the truth. As long as the parties agree, they never have to refer to the Agreement or Order. The most important part of your Agreement or Order is tools specified to mediate disagreements and stay out of court.
A negotiated agreement can be looked at as a tool to facilitate communication. By providing a clear and predictable version of the future where arguments are minimized, it is hoped the parents can learn to communicate better.
Taking the time to plan out vacations, school breaks, holidays carefully, and three-day weekends will pay dividends with a more peaceful and predictable lifestyle. It should be especially beneficial for your children for numerous reasons, including stability and fewer family conflicts, which may weigh heavily upon children.
The experienced lawyers at Brodie Friedman, P.A. will help you effectively negotiate a fair parenting plan and other components of your divorce agreement. If all issues (equitable distribution, alimony, child support) cannot be decided through negotiation or divorce mediation, remaining concerns can be litigated. We are dedicated to your interests and goals, whether by a negotiated solution or in divorce litigation.
With over 30 years of combined experience, Jason Brodie Esq. and Joshua Friedman Esq. will guide you toward realistic goals and provide committed advocacy toward achieving them. They are known throughout South Florida for dedicated client service, tenacity, and success in complex divorce litigation involving property division, child custody, and spousal support.
To get a better understanding of the qualities our reputation is built on, contact our office in Boca Raton to schedule your initial phone consultation (561) 392-5100