Co-Parenting During Spring Break

Spring break is fast approaching —- but for divorced or separated parents, this time of year can present unique challenges when it comes to co-parenting. From coordinating schedules to managing potential disputes, here’s how to navigate spring break as co-parents without issue.

How Are Custody Arrangements Determined for Spring Break?

When determining custody arrangements in Arkansas, courts consider various factors, including:


  • The child’s age and ability to communicate with both parents
  • Child support payment amounts and recourse if a parent falls behind
  • Vacation and travel approval and advance notifications


With that said, every set of parents must determine their own parenting plans and arrangements, including spring breaks and similar vacations.


Remember to plan early and initiate discussions about spring break plans well in advance to allow for plenty of time to coordinate schedules and make your necessary arrangements. For instance, if you want to go to Disney, you’ll want to talk with your child’s other parent about this as soon as possible to secure plane and park tickets.


Also consider flexibility. Recognize that unexpected events or changes in circumstances may arise, requiring adjustments to the original plans. Being flexible can help mitigate potential conflicts. If your child’s other parent wants to take them someplace for a couple of days but suddenly has to cancel, always have a backup plan.

Planning a Trip for Spring Break

If you plan to travel with your child during spring break, be sure to:


  • Obtain Consent: If one parent plans to take the children out of state or out of the country, ensure that all necessary permissions and documentation are obtained, including written consent from the other parent or legal authorization from the court.
  • Communicate Travel Plans: Keep each other informed about any travel arrangements, including itinerary details, accommodations, and emergency contacts. Open communication can help alleviate concerns and ensure a smooth travel experience.


If you run into disagreements, then here’s what we advise:


  • Staying Calm: In the event of disagreements or conflicts, remember to remain calm, respectful, and focused on finding a resolution that prioritizes the best interests of the children. Raising voices and using unkind words will only rile each other up.
  • Seeking Mediation: If necessary, consider seeking the assistance of a mediator or therapist trained in co-parenting issues to facilitate productive discussions and find common ground. Hickey & Hull Law Partners can also offer this service.

General Arkansas Child Custody and Visitation Guidelines

Wondering what your visitation rights are as the non-custodial parent?


The non-custodial parent typically has visitation every other weekend with the child. Weekend visitation starts at 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and continues until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. The non-custodial parent has visitation on the first Thursday and the second Tuesday immediately following their weekend visitation, from 3:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.



Arkansas has specific laws surrounding holidays as well. Since spring break is considered a holiday, the non-custodial parent has visitation on even-numbered years. The spring break period starts at 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the beginning of the school break, unless otherwise ordered by the court or agreed to in writing by all parties.


So in other words, if you want to take your child on vacation during an odd-numbered year, you can — just make sure you get the other parent’s written authorization.

Contact Hickey & Hull Law Partners for Assistance

Navigating co-parenting issues during spring break can be complex, but you don't have to face it alone.


At Hickey & Hull Law Partners, we understand the challenges that divorced or separated parents may encounter and are here to provide guidance and support.


Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your co-parenting needs. Chat, fill out our online form, or contact us today to get a free consultation. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.