According to Orange County parenting guidelines, parents should take a “business-like” approaching to communication. This makes sense although it should not be taken to an extreme. While it is understandable that parents should communicate effectively, rigid communications can sometimes be misinterpreted by children as hostility. Although we agree with the Guidelines that communication should be clear and courteous, if the children are around, the “tone” should also be softer and friendlier. This is of course easier said than done. Our experience is that it is best that parents keep their communications about the children outside the presence of the children, when possible.
Typically, in nearly every Orange County family law order we have seen, vacations, holidays or other types of “special” days take priority over the regular schedule.
Orange County courts have state the essential considerations here are (quoted here):
- Each parent to give the other parent thirty (30) days advance written notice as to vacation dates, destination, and phone numbers of where the child and parent can be reached.
- Telephone contact is recommended to increase the child’s sense of continuity and security during the out-of-town vacation time.
- If the child is in town during a four (4) week vacation period, the non-vacationing parent may want to arrange a weekend or mid-week contact with the child.
- Parents should give consideration to the child’s activities during the summer before making final vacation plans in order to avoid conflict in schedules.
- Older adolescents may resist a rigid vacation schedule and may wish to express their ideas for a summer schedule that includes their activities and interests.
- It is critical for both parents to have the child’s school schedule available before discussing vacation and school break plans.
The following are the parenting guidelines in an Orange County divorce case depending on the age of the child (quoted):
Infancy to 3 Years Old
- Presuming that one (1) regular weekly overnight has been ongoing, infants to 18-month olds may have three (3) consecutive overnights.
- Presuming that two (2) non-consecutive overnights have been ongoing, 18 months to 3 year olds may have two (2) seven (7) day periods of vacation time, separated by at least four (4) weeks of the regular schedule.
- If the child has older siblings, he or she may adjust to longer periods of vacation time which may be arranged on an individual basis by the parents.
- D. For child with little attachment to one parent, vacation time should not vary significantly from the regular weekly schedule.
3 to 5 Years Old
- Each parent to have up to ten (10) days of vacation
- Each parent to have two (2) one (1) week periods of non-consecutive vacation time with the child.
- If the child has older siblings he or she may adjust to longer periods of vacation time.
6 to 11 Years Old
- For children from 6 to 8 years old, each parent may have two (2) two (2) week periods of vacation (non-consecutive)
- For children age 6 and older, parents may alternate weeks during the school break periods
- For children 8 years and older, each parent may have up to four (4) consecutive weeks of vacation time.
- For children 8 years and older, parents may alternate the months of July and August each year.
- For children 8 years and older attending non-traditional school, parents may share all off-track periods equally throughout the year.
12 to 18 Years Old
- Each parent to have two (2) two (2) week periods of vacation.
- Parents may alternate weeks of all vacation periods.
- Each parent to have up to four (4) consecutive weeks of vacation each year.
- Parents may alternate the months of July and August each summer.
- For children attending non-traditional school, parents may share all off-track periods equally throughout the year.