Just like holiday breaks, spring break often brings a slew of parenting-time related questions for divorced parents.
Here are six common questions that divorced parents ask regarding their parenting time over spring break.
My parenting plan says my ex gets our kids over spring break. Does spring break start on the Friday school lets out or on the following Monday?
That’s tough to answer and will likely depend on what days the school officially designates as “spring break” as well as the specific language in your parenting plan.
If you rotate who gets the kids on spring break each year, you should try to agree on one interpretation so you can avoid this dilemma in the coming years.
You also need to figure out when you’ll be receiving your child back. Will it be on the following weekend so that spring break only covers the work week or not until that next Monday once school starts again?
My divorce decree doesn’t address parenting time over spring break. Who gets the kids?
In this case, you will follow the original parenting-time schedule.
It is possible to agree to a different schedule, but the court will only enforce the court-ordered parenting time.
My ex and I agreed to a different spring break schedule after our decree was filed. What do we need to do?
If you agree to any additions or subtractions to the parenting-time schedule, it’s a good idea to get them in writing, dated and signed by both parties just in case your ex changes their mind and decides to not follow the agreed-to changes.
This will depend on the specifics of the physical placement arrangement.
Although you have primary physical placement, you could still be held in contempt or she could file an enforcement motion if your trip coincides with the times when she should have placement.
Some placement orders include provisions regarding parenting being able to take vacations for a certain number of days with notice to the other party. You’ll need to check your order to see if that is addressed.
Make sure you document that you provided her with details of your trip and requested to bring your child. If she does end up filing an action against you, you can show that you provided her details and might be able to argue that she was being unreasonable.
My child wants to go on a trip with some friends over spring break. Will I be given any compensatory parenting time?
Compensatory parenting time will only be ordered if one parent was wrongfully deprived of their right to visitation.
If your ex agreed to let your child go on a trip during your court-ordered parenting time, then you can make a case for compensatory parenting time. But if you agreed to the trip, then no.
Who covers daycare costs if I have to work over spring break? Can I leave my child with a friend or family member?
That will probably come down to whether or not your decree includes a right of first refusal. If it does, then your ex can refuse to let you leave your child with a friend or family member and you’ll likely have to utilize a daycare option.
The daycare costs should be included in the average daycare costs when your child support is calculated. You might need to request a modification to include these costs.