Should Your Visitation Schedule Change During Spring Break?

Legal Considerations for Visitation Schedule Changes

When it comes to modifying visitation schedules, the legal system prioritizes the child's welfare above all else. Family courts typically operate under the principle that maintaining a consistent routine is in the best interest of the child. Yet, they also recognize that life is dynamic and adjustments may be necessary.

For parents considering changes to visitation for spring break, it's important to understand that official modifications typically are reserved for permanent changes. Therefore, before submitting a modification request, you and your co-parent should assess whether the requested change will be required permanently or if it is just to address the single week of spring break.

Common examples of reasons to seek a visitation modification:

  • Relocation of either parent
  • Changes in a child's educational needs
  • Health considerations
  • New work obligations

Can You Make Temporary Visitation Changes?

You will notice that changes to accommodate holiday schedules do not appear on this list. So, what should parents do if they find that their child's schedule and/or needs temporary change during the spring break period?

Examples of reasons a temporary visitation schedule change may be needed during spring break:

  • Need for day-time childcare while a parent is at work
  • Family events
  • Special travel opportunities
  • Educational camps or programs
  • Participation in sports tournaments or other extracurricular events
  • Unforeseen circumstances

In Texas, parents can agree to temporary visitation schedule changes without filing for an official court-approved modification, provided both parties are in mutual agreement. This allows flexibility in accommodating life’s short-term demands while maintaining the child’s best interests.

Collaborative Adjustment of Visitation for School Holidays

Co-parents can successfully adjust their visitation schedule for school holidays like spring break by focusing on communication, flexibility, and the child's best interests. It's essential to approach these conversations with a willingness to compromise that supports the child's happiness and well-being.

We encourage co-parents to try some of the following strategies for adjusting their spring break visitation schedule:

  • Early Communication: Begin discussions as early as possible to give both parents ample time to adjust plans and make necessary arrangements.
  • Draft a Proposed Schedule: Draft a temporary visitation schedule for the holiday period based on the discussion. Ensure it reflects a fair distribution of time and consider input from the child, if appropriate.
  • Flexible Mindset: Stay open to negotiation and be prepared to make concessions. Remember, the ultimate goal is the child's positive experience during their break.
  • Document the Agreement: Once agreed upon, it's wise to document the temporary arrangement. Though not always legally binding, a written agreement can prevent misunderstandings.

Seeking Legal Assistance for Visitation and Parenting Plan Modifications

When parents face difficulties reaching a mutual agreement, or if they wish to formally modify their parenting plan to include provisions for future spring breaks, consulting a family law attorney like ours at the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill PLLC can be highly beneficial. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you during negotiations with your co-parent and to provide guidance on the modification process.

Contact our law firm online to schedule a consultation and discuss how our attorneys can help you.

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