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After divorce, spring break can be bittersweet holiday

Ever since you were a kid in school, "spring break" probably was marked on the family calendar with a happy explanation point after it. It marked a break from school, the beginning of warmer weather and, for some of the most fortunate, a family vacation to a new place.

As adults, the excitement experienced as a child normally shifts once the responsibilities of being a grownup take root. Spring break becomes something you have to schedule around, plan and afford. And if you are a divorced parent, spring break might be a somber time of year for you.

As we have discussed on our Tennessee family law blog before, those who have children and get divorced have a big, important job before them. Divorcing is about more than ending a marriage; it is about setting the kids up for a stable and healthy life. 

Tennessee's divorce process requires parents to create parenting plans that keep the kids' best interests as priority. Depending on the specific family and its layers of complexities, some couples might have an easier time agreeing to a parenting plan than others. Some might be happier on both sides of a plan than other divorcing parties. 

If you are in the process of divorcing and facing what can be the emotional details of parenting time, visitation and decision-making over your kids, the matter of spring break should make you think. Spring break, winter break and other holidays or breaks such as summer vacation all become specifics to be addressed in a parenting plan. 

What would work best for you and your ex? A parenting plan can reflect your family's wants and needs; it doesn't have to be one way according to a court. If you and your ex can agree to split time every spring break, that is great. You could also decide to switch who gets the kids every year for that holiday. Maybe, one parent will always get spring break with the kids.

No matter what the parenting plan is regarding traditionally happy times such as spring break, the time of year can come with a new sort of sadness if you are not with your kids when you used to be. It is important to keep in mind the importance of kids having a relationship with both parents and how it's healthy for kids to see their parents respecting each other's parenting time them.

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