Easter is a great time to spend with family and enjoy the spring season. However, for divorced couples with children, sharing custody during the holidays can be stressful. Although weekly custody may have been figured out while negotiating the divorce, special times of the year such as spring break or Easter may not have been.
Open communication and good coordination are essential to any amicable divorce. Unfortunately, sometimes the parents wait too long to plan ahead, or the relationship is too toxic to work together, or simply forget to notify the other parent, causing stress and resentment within the family. So here are a few tips for divorced parents trying to coparent for the holidays.
Because parenting time and visitation are considered different from vacation time, the New Jersey courts strongly encourage parents to make their own vacation schedule. That might seem be easier said than done, but making your own vacation schedule well in advance helps ease any tension or confusion there may be.
Share both your work schedules and come up with a plan, which may mean planning the entire vacation further in advance as well. Doing so can allow both parties to enjoy quality time without having to settle by alternating years in advance.
If you are unable to create a schedule, the New Jersey courts have a court holiday visitation schedule you could use, which alternates important holidays from year to year. For instance, one year a parent would have the kids for Easter or Christmas, while the next year the other parent would have the inverse. The schedules might consist of the parent with visitation having the kids from 8 a.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Easter Sunday, and something similar for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Parents are encouraged to practice alternating visitation with other holidays as well, such as New Year’s Day or Halloween.
Remember that the holidays are about family, especially for the kids, so always put them first and try to make their family time memorable and stress-free. Take the kids’ insight on vacation planning and do not leave them out of it. Children like to know what is happening and can get anxious when they do not, so take them in consideration. Finally, when the other parent has the kids for vacation time, be supportive and let them enjoy it.
Make an Itinerary
If you are the parent taking the kids on vacation, make a detailed itinerary and share it with the other parent and the kids. Keeping everyone informed helps answer any questions and eases anxieties.
If you are the parent who does not have the kids for the holiday, consider celebrating with the kids on a different weekend. Many schools have staggered spring break schedules from others in the same area, and the weeklong break gives plenty of room to alternate visitation or split it up so that both parents could compromise.
Make New Memories
Even if Easter or spring break is different because of the divorce does not mean you cannot make new memories or make new traditions for your kids. Be creative and come up with new ideas to celebrate the holiday, which you, the other parent, and the kids would most likely appreciate.
Enjoy the Time to Yourself
Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a little alone time while the other parent has the kids. Relax and enjoy activities with yourself knowing that your kids are safe and having fun for the Easter holiday.
The Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Help Divorced Couples Plan Quality Vacation Time with Their Children
Coparenting during holidays and vacations can be taxing, but things get easier if you plan ahead and create a vacation schedule for you and your kids. If you have not, then the divorce lawyers at Burnham Douglass can help protect your rights and help you develop a suitable plan for you and your family. Call us today at 856-751-5505 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve all communities of South Jersey, Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.