Child Custody and Visitation Law: Getting a Parenting Plan for School Breaks and Summer Vacation

Rincker Law Family/Matrimonial Law Leave a Comment

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School Breaks

Schools in New York typically have four (4) school breaks:  Thanksgiving/Fall Break, Christmas/Winter Break, President’s Day/Mid-Winter Break, and Easter/Spring Break.  When drafting a parenting plan, parents should be cognizant on what was agreed to with the holiday schedule.  Here is an example schedule (for illustrative purposes):

School Break Time Even Years Odd Years
Mid-Winter Recess

(President’s Day Week)

7 consecutive days Father Mother
Spring Recess

(Easter Break)

7 (out of 10) consecutive days Mother Father


Thanksgiving Recess Close of School Wednesday until Sunday evening Father


Winter Recess

(Christmas Break)

7 consecutive days Mother (except for Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve) Father (except for Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve)


As an alternative, parents may wish to share each break equally (i.e. one parent would have the first four and half days of the spring break and other parent would have the second four and a half days) so both parents would have extended parenting time during the school break.

Summer Break

When crafting a parenting plan, parents should consider parenting time during the summer with both parents in light of the summer camp or extra-curricular activity schedule of the children.  For example, the parents might elect to split summer vacation equally (50/50) or give the non-custodial parent two consecutive weeks of vacation with the child(ren).

This is an excerpt from my new book “Onward and Upward:  Guide for Getting Through New York Divorce & Family Law Issues” available on Amazon, Kindle and iBooks. This is an except from the chapter I wrote with the talented Bonnie Mohr.  I also wrote the Chapter on Mediation, which also discusses mediation on disputes like this.  Not only am I a family law litigator, but I am also a trained mediator for divorce, child custody and visitation disputes, and commercial mediation. The book is chalk full of great advice on a myriad of family law issues ranging from prenups, child custody disputes, and divorce/annulments.  The book’s special sauce is that it has over 48 authors, including many nonlawyer authors, writing on both legal and nonlegal topics.  More info on the book can be found here.

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