Family vacations and holidays are important times for both parents and children. These special times are often planned months in advance. These family-focused times are precious opportunities where parents can give undivided attention to their children, which serves to create deeper child-parent bonding.
Communication is crucial when child custody and/or visitation is shared among divorced parents. Parents often assume that shared parenting time should be rigidly followed. However, there are bigger issues at play and what is in the best interest for the welfare of the children should take priority.
Flexibility in planning is key to avoiding problems
Some families have long-held traditions and customs. Sometimes, these traditions are based on culture or religion. Divorced parents should consider the importance of family continuity when planning vacation and holiday time.
Creating a solid parenting plan or parenting agreement is a good first step. However, flexibility is even more important. Special events, weddings, funerals, etc. are often unplanned in parenting agreements. These special times serve as a way to enrich the lives of children by being surrounded by their loving extended family. Compromises can be reached with clear communication and cooperation by both parents.
Equality among the parents shouldn’t be the top priority. What’s best for the children is what should be clearly in focus. If one side of the family has stronger traditions and customs, then a little compromise may be in order. For example, some families celebrate Christmas and others do not. Non-celebrating parents may have the legal right to the children during holidays, but the children may be better served by spending time with the celebrating parent.
There is no doubt that managing co-custody or visitation issues can be complicated. When creating or modifying the parenting agreement, it is important to have sound legal counsel on your side that is familiar with family law in Arizona.