Spring break and summer vacation are big holiday travel times for South Florida families - including those facing or with settled divorces. Depending on what parenting plan and a time-sharing schedule for minor children stipulate as far as each parent's travel schedules, it's never too soon to approach the other parent to plan a vacation getaway.
It's important to plan ahead for vacation time with the kids. One parent might call dibs - even if the other has other plans in the works. What can be done if a scheduling conflict arises? Planning early might help stave off conflicts - scheduling and emotional.
As has been written previously in this family law and divorce blog - and in a news articlethat featured Barry Finkel on the topic of families successfully navigating holidays and vacation time, families of divorce must seek a balance in timesharing or custody during any holiday season, including summer break. Family law attorneys say the answer lies in how the parties have behaved and conducted their lifestyles throughout both their marriage - and divorce.
Assuming the parents agree in principle to work together, summer time with the kids can be shared in a number of ways.
- Summer breaks shouldn't be considered holidays. Parents should maintain timesharing as outlined in the child custody agreement or parenting plan. The agreement likely has provisions defining summer timesharing - and whether or how adjustments can be made.
- Depending on the parents' individual work schedules, extended vacations may be accommodated. One may want to take an extended vacation; the other may have a job that affords little time off. If one parent wants to take the child on a trip, family law attorneys suggest both parents try to work out the schedule well enough in advance so schedules can be juggled or changes can be made.
- Be flexible. If you don't get the holiday you want this year, note that time slot - spring break, for example - is yours next year. Or vice versa. Being accommodating shows a willingness to work together - in the best interests of the child.
- Create new family experiences, rather than hold on to the old. If one parent has remarried, encourage the children to be positive about spending time away with the new alternative family. Along those lines, especially with new divorce or separation situations, if the family had a traditional family event - spring skiing, a summer cruise, Christmas together - encourage new traditions. Make change a positive thing.
- If the child hopes to attend summer camp, both parties must agree - on the camp, the duration, the cost and who will pay. Again, in the best interests of the child, try to work this out amicably. If camp attendance is unaffordable, gently let the child know.
As has been written previously, summer time and holidays give parents a chance to enjoy time with the children - while taking a trip, doing local adventures and outings, or just spending time together. Start planning spring and summer holidays now.
The Law Offices of Barry I. Finkel P.A., handles complex timesharing, custody and divorce litigation for a variety of clients, including high net worth individuals. As a divorce and family law firm, the practice serves the needs of the entire family. Established in Fort Lauderdale / Broward County, Florida, in 1992, and now in Boca Raton, the firm's lawyers provide trusted matrimonial counsel to clients facing turbulent times and unsettling circumstances. For a consultation or to schedule an appointment, please call 954-776-1414.