Parenting Issues – Holidays, Vacations, & Special Occassions

In addition to the routine parenting plan for minor children, arrangements are usually made in family law cases to accommodate holidays, vacations, and special events. Although parents decide to make these arrangements as such occasions arise, it is probably better to define them at the outset to prevent disagreements which can make planning difficult; as time passes and lives change, what seemed like an easy decision about where the children will spend a particular holiday or vacation can become problematic.

Holidays and vacation periods should be allocated between parents in a clearly defined manner. This can involve specifying how major holidays will be shared and minor ones will be alternated. In addition, school vacation periods should be divided between the parents.

The point is to provide parents with a schedule based on which they can make plans for themselves and their children. It is important, however, to remember that parents always have the freedom to alter this (or any other) schedule by agreement without going to court unless a change needs to be made permanent.

Arrangements should also be made for special occasions, such as Granny’s 95th birthday party. By their nature, such occasions often cannot be predicted but the parties should agree that they are important to minor children and appropriate adjustments to the routine parenting plan will be made to accommodate them.