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Parenting agreement and holidays/vacation

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  • katay
    My ex and I established our access schedule when the children were preschoolers and there were things I know now that I wish I'd known then. Our access schedule is Wednesday evenings from after school until school drop-off Thursday morning. Weekends alternate and start Friday after school and end with him taking them to school Monday morning.

    We alternate weeks over the summer, the weeks start and end at 4:30pm on the Friday. We still struggle over who picks up and who drops off. This year for the first time we are going to try out a two week period when they are with him and a two-week period when they are with me, but the other weeks will continue to alternate in one week periods.

    Christmas has recently become problematic because after 8 years he has decided to reinterpet the order, but here's what I suggest, and which works with school age children -- it also works because I take the kids with me every year to spend Christmas with my family who live out of town. Christmas holidays start after school on the last Friday of the school year. The kids stay with that parent until Dec 26 at 1:00. Then they are with the other parent until school starts. The problem with Dec 26 is that some years it's only three or four days into the holiday which doesn't allow much time together. I proposed a Friday to Friday window but that too is problematic when Christmas is on the last Friday. With this regime you will have to get used to not having the kids at Christmas every other year. This was hard at first but my family have been very accommodating and the kids end up with two Christmases every year.

    Whoever does not have the kids for Christmas has the kids for Easter the following year. We also alternate long weekends and they superimpose on top of the regular alternating weekend schedule and throughout the summer holidays. We start calculating the alternating pattern of long weekends from whoever has them for New Years. Knowing this in advance helps a lot so every year I do up a calendar that lists whose got the kids which weekend and then I get him to OK it (all by e-mail so it's documented). Any other changes throughout the year are done via e-mail and I'm lucky I guess because I have been able to rely on him to keep his word on these exchanges (knock on wood!).

    Good luck with getting your access schedule in place, I hope this helps!

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  • Suchislife
    In my partners case 'important' holiday are alternated each year i.e. Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas.
    The less important stat Mondays are tacked on to the wknd. if it's the weekend of a visit i.e. Victoria Day, Labour Day.

    If we could do one thing differently we would have the access order regarding all months of the year drafted more specifically than we ever thought we'd need.

    We have had endless problems with general terms.

    For example during Christmas Break, Christmas Day & Boxing day are specific but "the balance of the holidays to be shared by each party" has resulted in my partner barely seeing his children over the school holiday.

    Summer access organization is a nightmare.

    Really you can divvy up the holidays as you wish, but I'd break it all down in black & white if I were you!

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  • dadtotheend
    In your case, the norm is that holidays, (Christmas and March break) are split equally, your ex gets two weeks uninterrupted at summer vacation.

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  • yearsgone
    I think it would be in your best interest to have definite times for example "Christmas Day" to avoid any "problems". I have seen a situation where one parent had them for Christmas Eve and returned them to the other parent after lunch Christmas Day. So if you are envisioning the Christmas Morning scene with them, you have to be more specific. It would be good if you went through all your year's plans like this and have it all ironed out before presenting it to the courts so there will be no arguments. The judge doesn't want to deal with all the individual times etc. As it is, there unfortunately always seems to be situations where someone ignores the order and confrontations happen. Just don't do it in front of the kids.

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  • keepitsimple
    started a topic Parenting agreement and holidays/vacation

    Parenting agreement and holidays/vacation

    We've worked with a mediator to get a draft parenting agreement and mostly working on living arrangements and we've discussed the remaining issues in prep for our next mediator session so that looks good.

    For now, they'll live with me with alternate weekends (5pm Frida to 5pm Sun) and every wed evening (5-8:30) with Dad.

    What about vacations? Holidays? What is the norm with this kind of living arrangement. I really only care about Christmas day so can you say that you just do holidays with whoever it falls with in the regular schedule (i.e. if it's Dad's weekend and it's thanksgiving then they can stay with him for the extra day of the weekend). Vacations - is something like saying 2 weeks per year with each for vacations as a base?

    I'd like to get this decided with him before going in to our mediator session this week but want to put a proposal on the table to work from.
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