Summer Vacation May Bring New Parenting Time Schedules
While it may seem that your children just went back to school a few short weeks ago, the reality is that the current school year will soon be drawing to a close. Of course, children spend much of the academic year looking forward to summer vacation, but many parents face difficulties during the summer months in regard to finding appropriate child care and keeping the kids out of trouble. For divorced, separated, or unmarried parents, the issues can be even more challenging, as summer vacation is often treated as a special circumstance in a court-approved parenting plan.
It is not unusual for a child whose parents are divorced to spend a significant portion of the summer break with the parent he or she tends to see less during the school year. Such an arrangement is actually fairly common in many parenting plans. For example, if your child resides primarily with you during the school year and spends alternating weekends with his or her other parent, the other parent may be given several straight weeks of parenting time during the summer. This type of situation, however, is not feasible for every family. Work schedules, summer camps, and other complications may require you and your child’s other parent to develop a more creative solution.
Trips and Out-of-Town Adventures
During the summer, you may have vacation plans of your own—some of which may include your children while others may not. Your ex-spouse is also likely to have such plans. The only way to accommodate one another’s plans is through communication. If your parenting plan does not specifically provide for summer trips or out-of-town vacations, you and the other parent will need to sit down in advance and plan out your vacation. It is important to keep in mind that your child’s best interests should be the top priority. He or she should be able to spend quality time with each of you as you embark on your summer adventures, so compromise may be necessary.
When your child is in school, you know well in advance the days on which he or she will be off so you can make alternate child care arrangements. In the summer, you may rely on friends or family members to keep an eye on your child while you are working. You may, on occasion, even need to take a day off work here and there when nobody else is available to help. Your child’s other parent should be willing to share in these responsibilities as well. This is another situation in which communication is vital. For example, you may reach an agreement to alternate taking days off when needed. The first time that it is necessary, you will stay home; the next time, the other parent will stay home. Cooperative planning can help you avoid many last-minute emergencies and provide a more stable summer break for your child.
Parenting Plan Guidance
If you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent who is subject to a parenting plan and you believe that your plan needs to be updated, contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney. Schedule a confidential consultation today by calling 630-232-9700. We will work with you in developing parenting arrangements that best suit your needs as well as those of your child.