- Written by Kevin Hickey
Spring break is a little over a month away. This means you are making some sort of plans for spending time with your children. If you have recently divorced, traversing vacations and breaks for and with your children poses a challenge. The safest way to coordinate spring break after divorce is to follow the standard agreement issued by the court; however, some parents can successfully arrange a different schedule. It is always in your best interest to co-parent and place your children’s needs above your own. Let’s go over the basics of caring for the kids over the break.
- If you alter the court-ordered arrangements for visitation or breaks, make sure you have this written, signed, and dated. The court enforces what was legally determined. You can also have arrangements legally modified if need be.
- Communicate. Check the dates of the break on the school calendar and go from there. Make plans and share them, discuss them with your former spouse. Co-parent together to arrange a schedule that you both know and agree to for your children. If you are taking the kids on a trip, send photos, check in, and let the other parent know your schedule of events and activities.
- Do not let your emotions control your decisions. I know. It can be difficult. Emotions are important indicators of intuition, but unless you fear for your child’s safety, work together to give your children a fun experience with both parents.
- Make sure the kids know the rules. Parents have different ways of, well, parenting. Respect one another’s parenting styles. Support one another and create a basic parenting plan you can agree upon for breaks. Decide on screen time amounts, what movies are appropriate, which friends kids can hang with, and whether or not your family does sleepovers. These are all important aspects of co-parenting together.
- Be respectful of budgets. One parent may need help with covering costs of activities, or gas money. One parent may not be able to take the kids to the beach, they may only be able to afford a movie night and pizza. Don’t try to compete with one another, work together and help each other do the best they can for your children.
Divorce and a different family life are hard transitions for children. Work together, where possible, to give your children an actual break when they have time off from school. Remember, it’s about to get better. We are here to help.