Spring Break Parenting Time FAQs

parenting time on spring breakSpring break is approaching for many schools, and this can raise a lot of questions for divorced parents.

Here are five frequently asked questions regarding spring break parenting time.

In terms of my parenting plan, does spring break start the Friday school dismisses or the following Monday?

This will likely be determined by what days the school officially designates as “spring break” as well as the language in your parenting plan.

If you rotate who takes the kids over spring break each year, it’s a good idea to agree on one interpretation so this isn’t a recurring annual issue.

You’ll also need to figure out when spring break ends so you and your ex can coordinate the child exchange. Does it end the following weekend so spring break only covers the work week or does it run until that following Monday when school starts back up?

Who gets the kids if my decree doesn’t address anything regarding spring break?

If spring break is not specifically addressed in your divorce decree, then stick with the original parenting time schedule.

You and your ex can agree to a different schedule, but only the court-ordered parenting time is enforceable by the court.

My ex and I agree on a different spring break schedule than the one in our decree. Is there anything we need to do?

If you make any changes to the parenting time schedule, it’s a good idea to get the changes in writing, dated and signed by both parties.

You and your ex might agree on the different schedule now, but if a dispute arises the court is going to enforce the original order regardless of what you agreed to out of court.  

Can I take my child out of state on vacation for spring break?

Generally, the rights of a parent to take children on vacation will be set forth in the custody order. If it isn’t addressed in the order, courts will often use a reasonableness standard.

A reasonableness standard simply asks whether the actions you’re taking are reasonable as a third party would view them.

You could also be held in contempt if the trip coincides with your ex’s parenting time. Furthermore, some orders include provisions that require parents to give the other advance notice about any travel with the child.

If I have to work during spring break, how are daycare costs handled?

Daycare costs should be included in the average daycare costs when your child support is calculated. If not included, you might need to request a modification.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on CordellCordell.com, CordellCordell.co.uk, and DadsDivorce.com, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

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