Parenting Plan Holidays: Planning for Spring Break and Easter Weekend
The Spring Break “season” starts across the United States anywhere between March 9th and April 21st each year. Luckily in Florida, we typically do not have an overlap with our Spring Break and Easter weekends, but it is important to plan for both, nonetheless. The Spring Break holiday is extremely important in many time-sharing plans as it is a chance for parents to see their children uninterrupted for about a week. Easter weekend is also a big deal for many parents, as they try and impart their familial and religious traditions on their children and witness the children experience an Easter Egg Hunt and socialize with family and friends. Just because a divorce happens in your family, doesn’t mean that those important traditions disappear--but you must prepare in advance for those events to occur so that there is no unnecessary conflict or confusion.
To start preparing for these holidays, you will want to obtain the Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form called “Parenting Plan”. The thing to remember about this form, is that it is a starting point for you and should be modified by you to be very specific as to the holiday schedule. For instance, if you believe the holiday “Easter” should include the entire weekend, you MUST ensure the language on this form includes “Easter Weekend” and you will also want to include when the holiday is to start and stop.
The biggest challenge we see in finalized parenting plans is the ambiguity of the language within the plans themselves. One party believes the Parenting Plan says X, while the other party believes it clearly states Y, because “we discussed this at Mediation” or “we discussed it on the phone around the same time, remember?” Wrong—what you discussed outside and apart from the signed Parenting Plan may not be enough to enforce the additional verbal promises and instead may leave you upset and frustrated.
Remember, it does not matter what the other party assures you if it is not in writing. If it is not in writing, it may not be enforceable and it may cause you trouble down the road. Learn from the mistake of thousands of others and make sure if something is truly important to you that you put it in the agreement itself—not an email to your attorney or a text message to the other party.
Learn more about what you can do to minimize the ambiguity in a Parenting Plan by scheduling a free consultation with Brusca Law. We wish you and your family nothing but the best in the upcoming Spring Break and Easter season.