If you share custody of your children, your summer parenting plan can look different from when your kids are in school. Following are some questions to consider when developing your schedule for taking care of your children this summer.
What Will Your Child Be Doing?
Your children’s summer activities can dramatically impact a summer parenting plan. They can affect which parent is more accessible, where it is easier for your children to be and how much supervision they may or may not require.
Thus, consider whether your child will be:
- Away at camp
- Working a summer job
- Going on vacations with either parent
- Attending day-long care programs
- At home most of the time
- Playing summer sports
When you consider these activities, parenting time arrangements can be more apparent.
If your child is going to be home and in need of supervision, it may be best for one parent to have custody. For example, if you are a teacher with summers off, you may be more capable of taking care of your young children on a regular basis.
But if your child is going to be away at camps, working or generally more independent, you could continue to maintain the parenting schedules you have for the rest of the year.
How Flexible Can You Be?
Because summer schedules are not as rigid as school-year schedules, flexibility can be crucial in the coming months.
You may need to make adjustments based on travel schedules, unexpected illnesses or other scenarios that arise and make it difficult to care for a child. For instance, you might need to switch weeks, adjust exchange times and modify the balance parenting time.
However, if you cannot be flexible due to work responsibilities or strained relationships between parents, your custody schedule should reflect arrangements that provide stability for your child.
What Actually Needs to Change?
Completely shifting custody arrangements over the summer is not always necessary. In some cases, parents need only make minor adjustments if an existing agreement works well.
Before overhauling your plans, consider just how much needs to be changed. Consistency is crucial for kids, so changing only what needs to change is generally wise. Further, check your current plan to determine if it already provides guidance on summer break and custody.
Considering these questions can allow parents and kids to have a more relaxing and enjoyable summer break.