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How can co-parenting families successfully manage school breaks?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | child custody |

Co-parenting arrangements help parents to share time with their children. With rare exceptions, divorced and separated parents in Michigan tend to share both parenting time and parental responsibilities. Each adult typically receives a percentage of total parenting time or a set number of overnight visits per year.

Oftentimes, families have to employ somewhat creative arrangements to ensure that both parents have an opportunity to spend an appropriate amount of time with the children. Vacations from school are sometimes short, as is the case with the four-day break many schools offer for Thanksgiving. Other times, like midwinter break and summer vacation, the time away from school instruction will be relatively significant.

Those days away from school are an ideal opportunity for adults to spend quality time with their children. They can also be a source of childcare expenses. How do parents usually address school vacations in their custody arrangements?

Parents may split or alternate school breaks

It is common for the adults in a family to seek as much time as possible with the children they love. Each adult may want to have half of spring break with the children or to spend all of spring break with the children every other year. Either arrangement could work for families depending on other aspects of their custody arrangement. So long as both parents agree to an alternating schedule or an arrangement to split the break time with the children, an alternating or split schedule can work well.

One parent may take all long breaks

Sometimes, work responsibilities or a significant distance between the parents will make fully shared parenting time difficult to achieve. However, the adults in the family could still potentially even out the division of overall parenting time by letting one parent take the children for all substantial breaks from school. They may even have the children for a significant portion of the summer break. These arrangements can be mutually beneficial, as they can reduce the childcare costs for the parent with more overnight time during the school year.

Technically, any terms that keep both of the parents involved and result in a reasonable division of parenting time are an option for those negotiating custody arrangements. Thinking about school breaks and other irregularities in the family schedule might help adults better accommodate one another in their parenting plan accordingly.