Divorced or separated parents often have questions regarding child custody during spring break. Who will get the children, where the children will be allowed to go on vacation, and other details may be negotiated during the divorce process. However, if these issues are not addressed, custody arrangements may end up being arranged last minute. It is best for parents to discuss child custody and spring break as soon as possible to avoid any conflict or disappointment.
Plan for Spring Break During Custody Negotiation
Parents may plan for spring break during the custody negotiation part of their divorce. Schools may have differing spring break schedules, therefore, it is important to remain flexible regarding dates. Parents may agree to several arrangements, including:
Allowing one parent to have custody for the first half of spring break and the other parent to have custody for the second half
Alternating who gets custody for spring break each year
Giving one parent custody for spring break and the other parent custody for another holiday
When planning for spring break, several factors must be considered, including:
Parents’ work schedules: Parents may not be off work during spring break. Each one may take off at different times of the year, or maybe not at all. This is an important factor to consider when planning which parent will have custody during spring break.
Children’s plans: Older children may have plans with their friends, extracurricular activities, or work commitments during the break. Parents may want to consider the child’s wishes regarding how they spend the break, as well as any obligations the child may have.
Family traditions: Families that follow certain traditions over spring break should consider keeping those traditions in place. Children often have strong emotional attachments to family traditions around the holidays and other special times of the year.
Alternate plans: Unforeseeable occurrences can thwart even the best laid plans. It is always wise to have a back-up plan in case of an emergency or change in circumstance.
Parental Liability for Children’s Behavior During Spring Break
There are several legal theories under which parents may be held liable for their children’s negligent or criminal actions during spring break. One such theory is the family car doctrine, which holds that parents may be liable for damage caused while their child was driving the family vehicle, if they allowed the child to use their car. However, laws on parental liability vary by state, therefore, it is important for parents to seek the counsel of a qualified child custody attorney.