When negotiating parenting arrangements a lot of parents agree to share time in the school holidays but forget to specifically negotiate special holidays such as Easter. This can make Easter time a very stressful period for all involved.
Try and remember that Easter is about making an enjoyable and memorable experience for the children. It will certainly not be in the children’s best interests to feel as if they are caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between their parents on such special occasions. If possible, you should try and negotiate plans that work well for everyone, particularly the children.
Easter falls outside of the school holidays in 2018, so it’s an additional special occasion that might not have been specifically considered if you’ve already made arrangements for special events. Some important things to consider when negotiating Easter time include:
- where each parent plans to spend Easter and what this means in terms of travelling for the children,
- whether any special arrangements have been made such as family members attending for the festivities that the children may not have seen for a long time, and
- special customs that may have significance for one particular party or the children. For example, it is customary for some cultures to celebrate Easter by the attendance at late night church services,
- you could also have Easter celebrations on Good Friday or Easter Monday, and spoil the kids by giving them two Easter celebrations, one at each household.
An example of an arrangement that could work for Easter time may be that the children spend time with:
- one parent from after school on the Thursday prior to Good Friday to 4:00pm on Easter Saturday; and
- the other parent from 4:00pm on Easter Saturday until the commencement of school on Tuesday . The usual living arrangements then re-commence as normal with school attendance on the Tuesday, so that the parent with the usual care of the children receives the children back into their care after school on Tuesday.
This arrangement could then swap for the following year to ensure the children have the opportunity to experience a full and relaxed Easter with each of their parents.