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Divorce with children and spring breakSpring vacations from school is welcomed by all ages as it is a friendly hello to spring and good-bye to winter.  It is a time when many families take a few days off from life’s everyday tasks to enjoy one another’s company and may even plan a small vacation.  Parents often set aside time to plan this welcome of spring, enjoy the company of their children and seek out the optimal vacation site to relax, visit attractions and make memories for a lifetime.  This planning requires effort, financial commitment and resourcefulness.  Children of all ages know they can relax due to their parents having everything accomplished and await to be indulged with relaxation and fun.  Most everyone can reflect on his/her spring break times with fond family memories and fun stories to share. 

Although spring break will occur this year, this exciting time now becomes bittersweet as extra thought and planning is required if parent’s are facing separation and/or divorce.  When parents are experiencing divorce during time when school is not in session, these times may be shared between parents.  When facing separation and/or divorce, there must be decisions made of how every moment of your children’s lives will be spent and time that is spent away from school is often viewed as time that could be used as shared time between parents.   Each parent must now assume the task of how spring break will be celebrated and the role that he/she will play during each portion of the break.

A few thoughts for consideration are:  if you were a stay at home parent and now are working, there may not be an option to take time off from work.  If the children are too young to stay by themselves, will daycare be needed?  If so, how will this expense be paid?  Should you divide the amount of vacation days that the children are from school equally with each parent? Which parent should utilize the first half and what is considered a fair split?  Should you be given an itinerary of each other’s vacation plans?  Divorce creates much consideration not only for the couple but when children are involved, there will be co-parenting of these children forever.   Decisions need to be made concerning meeting the needs of the family and children who are living between two parental homes. 

Regardless of the age of your children, it is wise to proceed in making these decisions to reduce the need of addressing these issues again in the future.  Unwise planning in the beginning often means a return to court to address even simple division of times that were not planned or maybe all the considerations were not thoroughly examined before decisions were made and simply does not work now that you no longer live together and have gone your separate ways.  Planning ahead and being proactive for every stage of your children’s future events may reduce psychological and financial expense for all involved.

After the custody and parenting plan has been created concerning the division of time and how children’s needs will be met, then decisions on how to make the most of your new solo parenting and spring break vacation must follow.  During and even after divorce, money is often reduced, therefore, more creative planning may be needed.  Instead of a vacation with a hefty price tag attached, using your resources of recreational areas near home to create a different adventure every day with your children may be a welcome relief both financially and psychologically this year.  The adventures could be as simple as a day at the lake filled with fishing, swimming and maybe renting canoes; making your own ice cream sundaes following the local movie matinee and building your own pizza after bowling with friends may be just the ticket for a fun yet creative ways to spend your transition into the new role of solo parenting and spring break vacation.

Divorce is more than an event, it changes everyone’s lives forever.  The decisions that must be made on behalf of the family will dictate how and when you will parent your children for the remainder of co-parenting years.  Divorce Tool Box understands the myriad of decisions as a result of divorce and how it is difficult to tackle everyday decisions much less thinking about how to plan for three, five or even seven years from now so the family’s needs are met, that’s where we can help.  Visit us at www.divorcetoolbox.com and allow Divorce Tool Box to walk you through the divorce process while enabling you to make decisions that will best meet the needs of your family.  When you meet with your divorce professional, you will be ready to work with more answers than questions with your family’s best interest at heart.  Cheers to a happy spring break.

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