As the holiday season approaches it is a good time to figure out where children will spend the holidays if you are separated or divorced. A good custody order will include a holiday schedule. Frequently seen provisions include alternating holidays so that one parent has a holiday in even years while the other parent has it in odd years. Another option is splitting the holidays so that each party has a certain time allotted on the holiday itself. This works best if the parties are in close proximity to each other to minimize travel time on the holiday. There could be a holiday schedule which provides for the parties to always have the same holidays every year. In some instances, a custody order may simply state that holidays will be shared as mutually agreed upon by the parties without specifics. This is only recommended if you have a good relationship with the other parent to avoid arguments or stressful last-minute negotiations.
Vacations are a staple of the summer season and you want to make sure your children are able to enjoy vacation with you. A vacation schedule can be included as part of a custody order to alleviate any confusion or disagreement. Standard provisions specify how many weeks of vacation each party is entitled to per year, how the weeks may be exercised, what type of notice should be given, and what additional information should be provided. A sample vacation schedule paragraph is below:
Each party shall have two non-consecutive weeks of vacation each year with thirty days advance written notice to the other parent. If there is a conflict on vacation where both parties plan the same week, the party who gives written notice first shall be entitled to the week. Written notice may be via email or text message. The parties agree that they will each exercise their vacation week to include their regular scheduled time so as not to unnecessarily disrupt the regular custody schedule.