How to Handle Summer Vacations With Shared Custody?
For many families with school-age children, summer changes everything. Suddenly, the days are free, which means more time to spend together. If you are a divorced parent sharing custody of your minor children, working out a schedule for the 12 weeks with no school can seem daunting. Fortunately, adequate planning can help make summer parenting less chaotic.
Before planning, you may need to calculate how much time you and your ex-spouse have had with your children during the school year. Consult your co-parenting agreement to see if any agreed-upon rules for sharing custody apply to summertime. Then, the summer plan you come up with will depend on many factors, such as the ages of your children and how far away you live from the other parent.
Small children should not go long without seeing both parents. In these cases, a 2-2-3 schedule may be appropriate. This is where they stay two days with you, two days with the other parent, and then spend a long weekend with you. The following two days are with the other parent, two days with you, and then a long weekend with the other parent.
Older children may be comfortable spending a week with you before switching households. Some families prefer two weeks at a time to minimize the moving around. If you live in another state or far away from the other parent, the children may have to spend the whole summer with the non-custodial parent because of travel time and expenses.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
There are a few things to be aware of when sharing custody over the summer. Start planning well before summer begins, and communicate plans for camps and who is responsible for registering the children for activities or daycare. Mention any travel plans you might have so that the other parent knows the children will be out of town with you. Include the children in the discussion so they know where they will be over the summer and feel secure about the plan. Older children may have plans that should be considered when setting the summer schedule.
Above all, any co-parenting plan for summer or during the school year should have clear rules about changing the schedule and letting the other parent know in advance. Honor these rules when you need to make adjustments, and stay flexible when the other parent changes the schedule. If problems arise, you may contact an attorney for help.
Marlton Child Custody Lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. Provide Experienced Legal Council for All Family Law Matters
For all your questions regarding custody, parenting plans, and any family law matter, contact our skilled Marlton child custody lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. Call 856-890-9400 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Marlton, New Jersey, we represent clients in South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County.