California requires divorcing parents to come up with a parenting plan, sometimes called a parenting agreement, to determine a basic routine for child custody and visitation schedules. Most parents will create their parenting plans based on a typical week for both themselves and their children.
What many do not realize is that that schedule can get turned on its head once summer arrives and the kids are no longer going to school 5-times a week. Below are some tips to help parents planning visitaiton and custody schedules for the summer vacation time period.
Review the Plan
If you have set up a parenting plan with your ex-spouse, the first thing you should do is review it as soon as possible, way before the summer months begin.
Some questions to consider when reviewing the plan:
- Do you go by an every-other-week routine?
- Or have you set up a weekday-weekend tradeoff?
- What are your work schedules like?
Either way, you will have to consider how it could become troublesome for you or your ex now that your children are not under a teacher’s supervision during the busiest parts of the day. You may want to make your visitation schedule more flexible, allowing you and your ex to work it out on a week-by-week basis.
Assess Your Child's Needs
You should, of course, also consider the needs of your children. Without a school schedule, the summer means wanting to spend more time with their family. While a family vacation to the Grand Canyon might be out of the question, planning a day or two at fun locations, such as Disneyland, could be vastly beneficial for your kids if you and your ex-spouse can agree to get along. If your custody schedule wasn’t 50-50 before, it might be worth it to split it evenly for the summer, as your kids might be expecting to see the two of you equally in the absence of school.
Plan for Summer Programs or Daycare Arrangements
Start looking into whether you want your children to attend summer programs. Schools and other organizations often offer summer activities such as field trips, camps, and other enriching projects to help children keep busy and stay active during the summer. Do some research to see if your local schools offer these activities. Most importantly, ask what your child wants before signing him or her up.
In the end, you may not even need or want to change your parenting agreements at all. There is nothing wrong with that solution but it never hurts to review your parenting plans a second time. For help understanding your contracts in full, or for guidance with child custody modifications, call 559.900.1263 to connect with Arnold Law Group, APC. Our Fresno family law attorneys would be happy to explain your options in more detail during an initial consultation.