Winter break is quickly approaching and children will be out of school for a couple of weeks – what does this mean for custody/visitation? If your divorce is final, winter break visitation should be addressed in your Marital Dissolution Agreement or Final Decree of Divorce. This break is usually divided between the parents, but how it is divided likely depends on the year. For example, in odd numbered years, one parent may have the first week with the other parent having the second week. Often, the visitation exchange occurs on Christmas Day so that each parent has time with the children that day.
The arrangement described above is typical, but may not work for every family. Some families may have out of town relatives with whom they like to spend the holidays. In that situation, it may not be feasible to split Christmas Day but, rather, alternate years in which the parents have the children on Christmas. Other families don’t celebrate Christmas at all so they may divide the break according to other holidays such as Hanukkah, or just split the break evenly. Further, there may be parents who are unable to take a week off of work to spend with their children so, for these families, visitation during winter break may not differ from regular visitation, with the likely exception of Christmas and/or New Year’s Day.
If your divorce is not final and you have not yet discussed winter break with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you should do so as soon as possible. It is recommended that you get any arrangement in writing so there is no confusion as to where the children will spend their time.