It may seem hard to believe, but summer is just around the corner. Many families spend the next couple of months finalizing vacation plans and scheduling summer activities for the kids. For divorced couples with children, coming up with a summer parenting time agreement that works with everyone’s plans can be a stressful process.
Parenting time during the summer
If your divorce has been finalized, it is likely that you already have a parenting plan in place to establish your custody arrangements. If your parenting plan is fairly detailed, it will specify terms for parenting time over the summer, as well as summer holidays (Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc.). However, if your parenting plan only covers the basics, you will need to come up with a plan to account for summer vacations and activities, as well as child care for the time the child usually spends in school.
What can it include?
Summer parenting plans may allow for:
- Maintenance of the existing schedule – Summer parenting plans do not have to veer too far from the plan for the rest of the year. In fact, many parents choose to keep things the same as they are during the school year.
- Inclusion of vacation time – New Jersey parents may agree to include a couple of weeks of interrupted time for each parent, so that each parent is able to vacation with the child.
- The sharing of summer expenses – Parents may also include the sharing of summer expenses (e.g. summer camp costs, daycare) in their parenting plan.
Ideally, parents will able to work together to come up with a parenting plan to accommodate each parent’s plan for the summer. Once the plan is finalized, it should be submitted to the court for approval. Parents should also make sure to maintain communication with the other parent and give them plenty of notice (at least 30 days) of any upcoming events or vacations. A family law attorney can assist with any issues that may arise during this process.