Is Spring Break Considered a Holiday in Your North Carolina Parenting Plan?

Posted by Josh Valentine | Mar 22, 2018

Children are always affected when their parents make the decision to get a divorce. Not only do parents have to figure out how to divide marital property, but they must also figure out who gets to spend time with the kids and when. Child custody arrangements are an essential component of a divorce. North Carolina prefers parents to share joint physical and legal custody of their kids. This helps to encourage family unity and limit the negative effects of the divorce on the children. When joint custody is awarded, parents have the responsibility of drawing up a parenting plan.

What is a Parenting Plan?

child custody parenting plan essentially outlines where children will be spending their time and with whom. Parents tend to make sure that the major components of a child's life are mapped out in a parenting plan. For example, plans tend to dictate where children will live during the school year, which parent they'll spend major holidays with, and what summer vacations will look like. In many cases, however, parents fail to plan for things like spring vacation. With spring break just around the corner, it is important to make sure that your parenting plan includes details about your children's spring breaks.

How to Plan for Spring Break

Spring break generally falls around the celebration of Easter in either March or April. This is a time when kids are out of school for 7 to 10 days. When negotiating the terms of a parenting plan, many parents remember to include Easter but forget about spring break. Spring break is a time when kids have the freedom to travel, decompress, and enjoy their life outside of school. As a result, spring break is a great opportunity for quality family time. Parents who are putting together a parenting plan should discuss their goals and wishes for spring break.

Option One: Alternate custody for spring break vacations.

Some parents may not want to give up a holiday or vacation in its entirety. Since you have the freedom to design a parenting plan that fits your goals and needs, you have the option of asking your child's other parent to alternate holidays. This year, your spouse gets custody of the kids for spring break. In return, you get to spend Thanksgiving in the company of your children. Next year, however, you get the kids for spring break and your spouse gets to enjoy Thanksgiving with them. This can be a great way to spread out the memories that are associated with different holidays and experiences.

Option Two: Dedicated holidays.

If spending spring break with your kids is very important, you may be able to convince the other parent spouse to allow you to be with your kids every year. However, if you choose this route, you will likely have to give up a different vacation or holiday. In other words, this requires give and take. You may get spring break, but the other parent may get all of Christmas break. You'll have to figure out what you want, what works best for your kids, and what allows both parents to spend an equitable amount of time with your children.

Create Flexible Parenting Plans

Whatever you decide, it is important to be open about your goals and strive to create a flexible parenting plan. Talk about potential trips and taking your kids out of state. Discuss how plans may change as your children get older and make plans for themselves. When creating a parenting plan for spring break, be aware that plans and circumstances can change. Think about inserting contingency plans and being flexible when your child's other parent needs you to be. Put any agreements in writing so that disputes don't arise in the future.

Do you need help structuring a parenting plan that works for you and your family? Did you forget to discuss spring break or another holiday in your original plan? Contact the North Carolina family law attorneys at Caulder & Valentine for help. We understand that spending time with your children is precious and fleeting. We will help you create and negotiate terms for a parenting plan that are best for you. Call Caulder & Valentine today to request a consultation and learn more.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar