Glimmers of hope concerning COVID-19 have begun to show up here and there. While health professionals have predicted a challenging winter, you or your children’s co-parent might be looking at visiting family during the holiday season. After all, the winter holidays are best spent with warm family members and loved ones. Before you book those plane tickets, though, make sure the trip checks all the legal boxes.
What Does the Parenting Plan Require?
If you see an opening to safely take a winter vacation with your kids, you need to make sure the parenting plan allows it. A California parenting plan should include information on time-sharing, which is the living arrangement for kids of co-parents. There are plenty of creative arrangements in use by California co-parents; some kids spend the school year with one parent and summer vacation with the other. Others have two weeks on, two weeks off.
Time-sharing during winter break is often different than the arrangement in use during the school year. Commonly, co-parents alternate having the kids for Christmas or New Year’s. Whatever you wish to do with the kids during the upcoming winter break, make sure it’s in line with your parenting plan.
Give the Other Co-Parent Information
As a common courtesy, co-parents usually give the other parent certain information about upcoming vacations and events. Parenting plans often require co-parents to provide a certain amount of notice—often 30 days, but sometimes more. It’s not uncommon for written permission to be required before trips out of the state or country.
Keep in Touch
Many family law professionals recommend kids call the other co-parent while on vacation. This helps with continuity and routines on extended vacations. If you and your kids can video chat, even better. Keeping in touch with the other co-parent—even if the parenting plan doesn’t require it—is always a nice gesture.
Don’t Forget About School Schedules
The more specific your parenting plan is, the better prepared you and your ex are to have an efficient handoff process for the kids during winter break. In these uncertain times of COVID-19 and virtual learning, school schedules can be volatile. It’s worth double-checking your kids’ schedules and making sure everything you plan to do during the break will work.
If the winter holiday season for you and your family involves gifts, one co-parent will inevitably miss out on the actual holiday for gift-giving. For example, one co-parent who has the kids on Christmas Day (December 25) will often pick them up sometime on Christmas Eve (December 24) and pass them on to the other co-parent sometime on the evening of December 25.
The co-parent who drops off the kids on Christmas Even and picks them up the night of Christmas Day may want to exchange gifts before or after Christmas morning. If you plan to be on vacation the week of Christmas, try to work with your ex for a gift-giving compromise.
Having Trouble With Your Parenting Plan?
We understand how important it is to make memories with your kids during winter break. Seeing family is also important. Amid all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to make sure everything is squared away with your ex and the parenting plan.
If you need a modification to your parenting plan, contact us to see how we can help. Anthoor Law Group helps parents find family law solutions to a variety of situations. Contact our team today to set up a consultation.
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