With regard to what we’re calling “school breaks” – any shared-parenting, 50-50 custodial arrangement won’t necessarily require any specific language. School breaks will fall on each parent’s custodial period and not require any deviations from the standard schedule with two possible exceptions:
- Your school district has an extended “winter break” that is NOT Christmas Holiday and/or;
- Your school district has a “spring break.” Keep in mind, many districts plan their spring breaks the week before, the week after, or wrapped around Easter holiday (half-week before and half-week after).
In those instances, our first recommendation would be to include them in the periods considered “holidays and special occasions” and rotate them accordingly.
This page is most important for those with the unbalanced custodial arrangement pending (or currently in place). Provided you’re not in a long-distance situation, non-custodial parents often miss these opportunities to obtain extra parenting time with their children:
- Winter and/or Spring Breaks.
- Teacher In-Service Days necessitating a child’s day-off from school.
- School holidays that aren’t a parent’s work holiday.
- Any other day-off from school for any reason not included above.
Remember… we’re all about looking for opportunities to maximize your custodial time whenever possible. I was once an NCP and had written into my custody order the following clauses within the base custody schedule:
In accordance with the school calendar, if there exists any day(s) off for the children that extend any weekend (either the beginning of the weekend or after the weekend), Father is to provide a minimum one week’s notice of his intention to have the children for that extended time.
If during any future school year, Spring Break doesn’t “surround” the Easter Holiday (for example, it is the week preceding Easter or is the week after Easter), Father will be permitted custody of the children with a minimum of one week’s notice.
Very, very important. If you look at your child’s school calendar for this year or past years, you will be surprised at just how many extra days you will be able to pick up and be able to spend with them. We were able to make this work despite the distance between homes being 4-hours at that time.
Let’s explore such options via forums discussions. Even as an NCP, you should work as hard as you can to find every available opportunity to increase you time with the children. Remember to always include specific details on transportation, times, exchange places, and notifications.