Omaha, NE asked in Family Law for Nebraska

Q: On a parenting agreement, what does 15 days uninterrupted parenting time mean?

Does vacation have to be 15 days in a row? Can one parent take 15 days total on the others parenting time split over the year? Do the parents have to switch off if a holiday in the parenting agreement causes one parent to have the child over 15 days?

The statement says:

Vacation with child: Each parent shall have a maximum of 15 days uninterrupted parenting time. The parents agree they will provide the other parent at least two weeks notice. The parent who is not vacationing with the minor child may institute a phone call to the minor child. Telephone access will be reasonably exercised, taking into account work hours, time zone changes, expense, and other relevant factors. The parents agree that vacation time shall not interfere with a holiday without the consent of the other parent. If a parent travels out of town, then the parents agree that the vacationing parent will leave contact information, including a phone number and address where they may be reached, prior to travel.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Julie Fowler
Julie Fowler
  • Omaha, NE
  • Licensed in Nebraska

A: For an answer how to read your specific decree, you need to speak with an attorney and read the decree and parenting plan together as a whole. Just reading one snippet and not knowing the background on your case could result in you interpretting something very different from how the Court might when looking at the bigger picture.

Without speaking specifically to your situation, many parenting plans have a maximum number of vacation days that you can exercise in vacation time each year. Unless there is language otherwise, you don't usually have to take the vacation days in one block of time. Often you can divide it amongst a number of blocks of time. Sometimes the days can only be taken in the summer and sometimes you can elect your days any time of year with enough notice. Many parenting plans don't allow a parent to elect vacation days on holidays. Thus, if it is the other parent's holiday time, then you can't elect it for vacation days.

Some parenting plans allow you to add your holiday or regular parenting time to your vacation days, so that you get a longer block of time but don't have to use a vacation day for each day. Other parenting plans don't allow this. Usually if there is a maximum number of days you can take in a row, then you can't add so many vacation days to regular/holiday time to go over this maximum. However, it depends on your specific wording and specific situation.

In most parenting plans, the parents are able to agree to change the terms temporarily. Thus, there may be a year where the parties agree to swap holidays or agree to a longer block of time than allowed in the order if they are both in agreement.

If you are having a dispute about your specific parenting plan, try to work things out with the other parent. If the other parent is doing something that you believe is outside what the parenting plan allows, maybe review to see if there is something out the parenting plan that you are asking for as a temporary change as well. Is there a trade that would be beneficial to both parties to resolve the issue? Think about what the chid may want. If you need help as to what your specific parenting plan means, then you need to speak with an attorney. Often the attorney that represented you when the parenting plan/Order was entered can be a good resource to help interpret things quickly.

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