Vacations with your children, whether traveling or simply spending extended time in your home, are important for all families. For separated families with parenting time schedules, however, vacations provide greater opportunities to support a family bond with children no longer living exclusively under one roof. Due to the value of this time, vacation time requires additional consideration when you are working with your co-parent or discussing your goals with your attorney.
One the first considerations when creating a vacation schedule is what duration of time each parent should have. This is a factor not just on the age of the child but also the amount of time each parent currently exercises with the children on a regular basis. For parents not operating on an equal parenting time schedule, consider the value of bonding during a longer vacation duration. Also important is the impact on a child from being away from the other parent for an extended period of time. Create vacation schedules that eliminate as much disruption as possible to the regular parenting time schedule and the non-vacationing parent’s weekend.
Secondly, if your children are school aged, consider how a vacation could impact school attendance and how school breaks can be incorporated into the vacation schedule to maximize the amount of time a child can spend with each parent.
Finally, vacation schedules can be tailored to maintaining one parent’s important family traditions, such as family reunions that occur annually. These events, when incorporated into your vacation schedule, ensure your children’s ability to engage in family traditions with extended family members.
Vacation language often starts as boiler plate language, but not every family is right for a simple one size fits all approach. Create the best beginning for your time with your children by engaging in a thoughtful approach toward your vacation schedule.