Other Parenting Time Issues

Other Parenting Time Issues

Holidays and Summer Vacations

These should be spelled out in your parenting agreement. Here is a short sample of holidays. You need to decide drop off and pick up times and when a day starts. Most parents agree that the receiving parent picks up.



Even Years Odd Years
New Year’s Eve Mother Father
New Year’s Day Father Mother
Easter Mother Father
Spring Break Father Mother
Memorial Day Weekend Mother Father
Summer Break Father Mother
July 4th Mother Father
Labor Day Weekend Father Mother
Fall Break Father Mother
Thanksgiving Day Mother Father
Winter Break Father Mother
Christmas Eve Father Mother
Christmas Day Mother Father
Hanukkah Mother Father
Child’s Birthday Both parents Both parents
Mother’s Birthday Mother Mother
Father’s Birthday Father Father
Mother’s Day Mother Mother
Father’s Day Father Father


Example: For all three-day weekends: the parent who has the children over the weekend will keep them on the Monday holiday.

Summer Vacations (Uninterrupted Parenting Time)

You need to decide how long each parent can spend uninterrupted with the children during the summer. Possibilities range anywhere from one week to the entire summer, if there is a non-custodial parent (especially one who lives out of state and cannot see the children often during the year). It is a good idea to provide a deadline, such as May 1, in even-numbered years for parent number 1 to put in writing his vacation plans so there is no conflict, especially if there are work schedules, other family members, and airline tickets to consider.

Telephone Contact

It is important to recognize in writing that each parent must always allow reasonable telephone contact daily and always provide a written itinerary with emergency phone numbers, addresses, flight numbers and the like. All this should be in writing in your parenting agreement.

Parent Information Class

You will be required to go to a parenting class for your divorce. These classes focus on your children, just as you should focus on your children. They did not ask for this divorce. They love both Mom and Dad. Most likely, they do not want this divorce, nor do they have any power to stop it. They are absolutely stuck. So, please do not use your children as weapons; remember that when you criticize the other parent, you criticize half the child.

Parenting Conference Through the Courts

This meeting can be ordered by the court or requested by the parties. It is a conference with a professional to help the parents agree on a schedule and decision-making. It currently costs $300 per parent. The end result is a report given to the judge with all agreements by the parents in writing. The report also provides the judge with a history of the parties and facts about the family and the children. The report may also make a recommendation about a schedule and decision-making if the parties cannot agree. The court is free to adopt or create its own parenting agreement and decision-making arrangements. This conference is usually a good way for parents to negotiate with a professional who can help them. If the parents know what they want, they can make agreements on their own, without the assistance of a professional. Prior to the conference, both parties are requested to fill out an information packet to help provide the conference officer a clear picture of the family. Here are some sample questions that may be included in your information packet from your parenting conference conciliator.

School Records and Medical Records

Each parent, no matter the decision-making or parenting arrangements, has access to the minor child’s school records and medical records. (See A.R.S. §25-403.06).

Mothers Unmarried to Fathers

When the mother is unmarried to the father, the mother has sole legal decision-making and sole physical decision-making, unless the parties make another arrangement or a court orders otherwise. A parent needs to file and ask for paternity (or paternity can be admitted), child decision-making and child support. That does not mean that an unmarried father cannot see his child without the court. The two parents can draft their own agreement and sign and date it, and it will become a court-enforceable agreement. They can also share parenting time without an agreement, but it is better to put it in writing. And, they should always have a written child support plan, usually paid through the Arizona Clearinghouse. (See Chapter 5.)

Conclusion: In closing this section on decision-making, we offer the following poem written by a father going through a divorce:


The Bonding

By Matthew Weissner
My son and I, we walk alone.
Through the park, midst grass and stone.
Stop to feed the ducks by the edge of a pond.
Trying to form, that so special bond.

He’s so very young and alert and aware.
The light is on full, as his curiosity stares;
At all that he does, that he sees and he hears.
It’s a big wide world, and he has no fears!

I want him to know always, that somebody cares.
No matter what, I will be there!
I gave him life; his love saved mine.
Our special bond will surpass all of time.

I want to know what thoughts, are on his mind.
I want to feel the needs of his heart.
I’d like to help him to seek and to find.
I need to give him one awesome start!

Along the road we’ll learn and grow.
Bubble baths, make believe and nasty colds.
Bedtime “Stories That Never Grow Old.”
“Dad, may I borrow the car, if I can be so bold.”

Together we will forge that special bond.
Ripples cascading, rings in a pond.
Through the park, midst grass and stone;
My son and I, we walk alone.

Next: Child Decision-making Questionnaire with Parenting Time and Holiday Schedule

This may help you decide the Best Interests of your child. Child’s Full Name Date of Birth City of Birth Have there been any other proceedings regarding decision-making of your children?   ___________________ If yes, where?   ___________________ Where     (at     what     address)     does     your     child/ren...

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