With the spring and summer holidays on the horizon, one thing that divorced families with kids need to think about is holiday custody arrangements. If you are just getting to the point of making these arrangements in your divorce settlement, you will need to keep the following in mind:
Listen To The Kids
One of the first ways to determine where your kids go during the spring and summer holidays is to ask them what they would prefer. This is often done with older children in particular. You will need to reinforce the idea that their preferences are not guaranteed, but that you will take them into account. Then, try your very best to work out an arrangement with your former spouse that makes everyone happy. Be sure to work amicably with your former spouse if possible. If you are unable to come to an agreement, you will need to get your lawyer or a mediator involved to come to a conclusion using the input from your children.
It is best to have your spring and summer plans made well in advance of the actual holiday. If you wait until the last minute, you and your former spouse will not have adequate time to plan for the arrangements, such as who will have the kids during the work week, schedules for activities, and so on. You will also need to leave some time to make any adjustments to the schedule for those last-minute items that can have an impact on the timeframe of custody.
Try To Remain Consistent From Year To Year
Another way to make spring and summer custody issues easier to deal with is to make it consistent annually. Work out a permanent schedule that you can both stick with, leaving some leeway for any unforeseen issues that may arise. This way, the kids will know what to expect every year, providing them with some sense of routine. You may want to alternate some specific holidays with regards to where the children will spend the day, such as Easter or Independence Day. This is something you can have noted in your custody arrangement.
The spring and summer holidays are a fun time of year for children, so try not to cloud it with messy custody arrangements. Make a schedule that will make all parties as happy as possible. Although divorce is not ideal for the kids, parents who can work together will have a positive impact. Contact a child custody lawyer for additional information.