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Vacation time typically trumps child custody schedules

When figuring out your child custody plan during a divorce, one thing you need to consider is the role of vacation time. This does not necessarily mean time that you want to take the kids on vacation -- you may need to clear that with your ex -- but time that the children themselves get scheduled breaks from school.

Perhaps the most common example is Christmas break. The children get two weeks off from school, in many cases. How do you divide that time?

For instance, maybe you have your children every other week. Your ex gets the off weeks. However, due to your work schedules, the parenting plan gives you the children over Christmas break.

During the first half of the break, they would be with you anyway. It's your week. During the second half of the break, though, they would typically go back to your ex. Unless otherwise noted, however, it is common for your vacation schedule to trump your regular schedule.

So, for that second week, the kids would simply stay with you. You may then get them for your normal week after the break, and then you get back on the standard schedule again.

Of course, every plan is different. You and your ex can negotiate. Things like this are flexible. Many parents try to find ways to share the holidays.

The key is simply to understand exactly what your agreement says and what legal rights you have. The last thing you want is to assume the children are coming to your house or going to see your ex, only finding out at the last second that you were wrong.

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