Laurie M. Wasserman
5 Co-parenting Tips for Summer
The end of the school year is fast approaching, which means that many custody schedules will be changing for the summer. Oftentimes parenting plans and court orders have different physical custody schedules set up for the summer because children’s schedules are different in the summer. Here are some quick things to consider now, before the summer begins:
1. Look at your Court Order, Parenting Agreement, etc. to see if your child’s physical custody schedule is different in the summer.
2. If there is a different summer schedule, check to make sure you and your co-parent are on the same page about when the “school year” schedule ends, and when the “summer schedule” begins. Also, make sure you are on the same page about when the “summer schedule ends” and when the “school schedule” begins again. Despite everyone’s best efforts, and all of the planning that goes into drafting Court Orders, Parenting Agreements, etc., it is not always clear.
3. If the schedule is not different, think ahead if you will need additional childcare during the summer, or if the transition location needs to be altered. For example, many Court Orders, Parenting Agreements, etc. have one parent dropping the children off at school on one day, and the other parent picking them up after school that same day. That might not be an option during summer vacation from school. The sooner you can think this through, the easier any change will be on your child.
4. Look to see if your Court Order, Parenting Agreement, etc. has any provisions regarding travel and vacations. Many parenting plans have provisions that each parent can take an extended vacation with the children during the summer. Check to see if your Court Order, Parenting Agreement, etc. has such a provision, and what steps each parent is supposed to take regarding scheduling the vacation, passports, limitations, itineraries, and any advance notice that is to be provided to the other parent. (Note that even if your Court Order, Parenting Agreement, etc. doesn’t explicitly say you are to provide this information to the other parent, it is a nice thing to do, and something you would want in return!)
5. Many children attend summer camp in the summer. If your children attend summer camp, once again, look to your Court Order, Parenting Agreement, etc. to see if there are any provisions regarding scheduling camps, and paying for camps. Also, think ahead to consider if the camp schedule will impact the transitions between homes.
As always, if you run into issues interpreting your Court Order, Parenting Agreement, etc., you can always contact a Parent Coordinator or utilize the services of a mediator. Now is the time to address any issues regarding interpretation, and not on the last day of school. Your children will want a clear understanding of what they can expect during the summer, so the sooner you and your co-parent get on the same page regarding summer vacation, the better for your children!
If you have questions about parent coordination, please contact Laurie Wasserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-842-1070. The legal team at Wasserman Family Law is here to help guide and advocate for you.
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