Considerations When Making parenting Time, Vacations, and Holiday Divisions
When working on your separation, the number of items you need to review and divide can feel overwhelming and it’s easy to want to breeze through some sections. But before you tear through the vacation plan, take some time to consider several factors that will go into your new schedule as separate parents before you start checking boxes on certain holidays.
Family Traditions and Gatherings
Some families have traditions that are extremely important, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s important to continue to honor these traditions and determine how they can be kept or if they can be modified. Traditions add a level of stability for children that are making adjustments in the rest of their lives during the divorce. If your children are old enough, talk to them about traditions and what they think is most important and what they are willing to change.
Equal Time with Each Parent
Unless there are mitigating circumstances, both parents deserve the opportunity to spend holidays with their children and the courts see it as a priority as well. Attempting to claim all the major holidays for yourself will likely not go over well on any front and will cause more trouble than it’s worth.
Travel Planning and Needs
If you’re considering splitting parenting time during longer vacations such as summer break, you’re going to need to talk about the logistics of that extended stay. Will you have the space and resources to care for your children for a couple months at a time? What actions will you need to take in order to make their stay as comfortable as possible?
If you’d like to split a certain day, take into consideration the time it will take to pack the kids up in the car and take them from one place to the other. Sometimes it can be far less stressful to agree to alternate the days.
Cost of Travel
If you live in a different state from the parent, flying children from one residence to another adds up quickly if you’re doing it frequently. Airlines have varying policies on unaccompanied minors, but they all have additional fees associated with the service.
Children under 5 years of age may not fly alone under any circumstances and one parent must accompany them on each leg of the flight, meaning you or your former spouse will rack up major frequent flyer miles since you have to purchase an additional round trip ticket for yourself on each leg of the trip.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start planning and splitting the vacations and holidays. We’ve developed an ebook to help you do just that. Our ebook “10 Examples of How to Divide Vacations and Holidays” includes a handy checklist of all the major holidays.