Spring Break Custody Schedule, Planning Ahead

Spring break is around the corner, even if it hasn't felt all that springy! For divorced or separated parents with kids, it is time to think about and confirm spring break custody schedule or travel. To ensure an effective custody schedule, parents should take preemptive measures now. Reviewing custody schedules, custody orders, or other parenting plans can alleviate any last minute trouble or wasted travel costs.

Review existing custody schedule

Review of have an attorney review an existing custody schedule for the exact plans that were Ordered or agreed upon. Most couples have established one in writing to alleviate the tensions which can arise out of ambiguity and miscommunication. When deciding a custody schedule, the courts consider the best interests of the child, so any activities or obligations that benefit the child are held as a priority. For those who are unhappy with custody or find that the break has caused difficulty with a custody schedule, filing for modification of custody is possible.

If you have questions or are dissatisfied with the suggested custody arrangement for spring break, such as a parent taking a child on a long vacation last minute, contacting a custody lawyer is the best way to ensure the week is safe for the child and fair. A custody stipulation is drafted in accordance with § 5331.

Check the school calendar

Once you are aware of any existing credentials for planning a spring break, parents should check now to ensure their child's school district has not changed spring break or planned activities. For local schools such as Council Rock, their spring break is calendared here and set for April 14 - 18th; Central Bucks school district has break from April 17 - 21st. You may also want to check with the school if you plan to add days to the break for any prolonged vacations as many students are preparing for mid-terms at that time as well. There was even talk of snow days cutting into spring break this year - check with the schools often to ensure there are no changes leading up to that time.

If your child participates in any sports or extracurricular activities, contact the school to ensure no obligations are missed. Often, the non-custodial parent can struggle to stay informed of what happens during and after school; where long breaks are concerned, a parent should check with coaches or teachers before taking the child away for a week or more.

Communicate and co-parent

Of course, checking with the other parent is advised - especially when parents do not have a formal custody order or stipulation in effect. Pick-up, drop off, travel times and itineraries should all be presented to the other parent far in advance. By sharing and communicating these plans or ideas now, both parents can effectuate a better experience for their children. This should be a time for children to visit with both families and catch a break from school work.

Many custody orders require the other parent to write or otherwise notify the other parent within specified timeframes. A comprehensive custody stipulation can include other requirements tailored to each unique family; during breaks from school or other holidays, a custody stipulation is a more effective way to share custody.

If you do not have a custody order, stipulation, agreement, or other co-parenting tools, contact the experienced Bucks County divorce and family lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. Call (215) 693-6191 to set up a consultation today or complete the online inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you shortly.