Please, Don’t Make Me Take A Vacation | Holidays and Vacations

“I never go on vacation,” said a Manhattan real estate agent. “And when I do, I have my computer, my Palm, my e-mail and my cell phone with me at all times.”It seems that our tech toys have become the adult equivalent of an umbilical cord. So how can we live without them?And what about now, when, as a good citizen, who also doesn’t want to get arrested, you at least have to endure your plane trip without their nourishment and comfort? Let’s do a checklist of tech tonics that can cause us to experience separation anxiety.Your laptop. No more making the flight a window to catch up with your work or idle the time away with a video game. Even if you’re reunited with the high-tech marvel after the flight, what if you’re on a tropical island, marooned on the coconut garden without a high-speed Internet connection?

Your cell phone. No more last minute chats before takeoff or immediate reconnection on landing. How bereft can life get?Your Palm or Blackberry. Can’t take either of those on board either, and, as you know, out of phone numbers and email addresses, out of business, worse yet, cut off from your entire social life, at least, for the seemingly eternal length of the flight.Your MP3 player. No, no, anything but that! How will your soul survive the deafening silence?And the reluctance to separate from our tech tools isn’t the only reason many Americans are reluctant to take the vacations they once flew out of their office chairs for. Most Americans also fret, in these days when what used to be called workaholic hours now seem more like half days, that the employer will use the occasion to replace you with somebody who has shown promise of never needing something as irresponsible as a vacation, at least, not one that goes on and on for that long ago and faraway interlude of two weeks.What’s an exhausted and tense person to do? Here’s our humble but functional answer. Most years we take long weekends, with only an occasional year in which we indulge in a flagrant week or two away from our day-to-day entanglements. We find the possibility of frequent breaks inviting, and we don’t get taken out of our lives the way the extended vacations of yore used to separate us from our usual doings. We also find that most of the world is within reach during these three-day to five-day intervals.Of course, if you’re thinking of heading to Australia or the Far East, you may be doing little more than making a U-turn, so better reserve those destinations for the rare times when you dare a week or – dare we even mention the words? – two or even three weeks?

Then again, you can always decide to move to a vacation destination forever, especially when you compare the length of the idylls in other parts of what we loosely refer to as the civilized world.According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as of 2004, in the US full-time employees have 3.9 holiday and vacation weeks off a year, while in the UK they have 6.6 weeks, in France 7, and in Italy 7.9.But do you really want to part with the good, young USA for an extended or everlasting break? For most of us the thought remains an occasion for separation anxiety that we simply can’t endure.

How to Create an Effective Custody Agreement and Visitation Schedule | Holidays and Vacations

If you are in the middle of a custody suit, you will be asked to create a parenting plan or custody agreement for your child. You will be legally obligated to abide by the rules set forth in your custody agreement once it is approved by the judge. The only way to legally change the terms of your custody agreement will be to return to court and argue your case before a judge.Returning to court can be expensive and time consuming. If you want to avoid this inconvenience you should do everything you can to create an effective custody agreement the first time around.Your custody agreement should address the legal custody of your child. Who will ultimately be responsible for making major decisions for your child? You can assign decision making authority to each, either, or both parents. These decisions include your child’s education and medical care. Basic decisions such as what your child will eat for breakfast are generally determined by the parent who is physically caring for the child at the time.

Your custody agreement should address the physical custody of your child. Where will your child live? You will need to create an effective visitation schedule that gives your child the proper amount of time with each parent.Your visitation schedule will need to address the holidays and vacation time in addition to a general parenting time schedule. Holidays take precedence over the regular visitation schedule. Children should be given a more equitable amount of time with each parent for holidays and special occasions. Some parents opt to take turns having the child every other year on the various holidays but you may create the holiday schedule as you see fit.Your custody agreement should contain provisions to help you resolve problems and make modifications to the plan without returning to court. You should include methods for periodically reviewing the plan, making changes to the plan, and dispute resolution.Your custody agreement should contain additional provisions that address potential sources of conflict and resolve them. Transportation, communication, optional expenses, the child’s belongings, and how medical bills will be paid are just some of the topics you may want to consider including in your plan.Once you have created a proposed parenting plan, you will need to work with the other parent to reach an agreement. This will require patience and compromise. If you want your custody agreement to be effective, both of you are going to have to agree to the terms of the agreement. Reaching an agreement is in your best interest and is in the best interest of your child.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with the other parent, your custody arrangements will be created for you by the judge or another officer of the court. Allowing the court to decide your child’s fate creates conflict. Neither one of you may be happy with the terms of the assigned agreement. This could lead to arguing with each other for years to come. You really need to set your feelings aside for the sake of your child in order to make an effective visitation schedule and the best possible custody arrangements for him or her.