Most summer parenting time orders are part of a divorce or custody arrangement. To make your summer parenting time -goes smoothly, try the following:
- Make sure you know when your summer parenting time starts. Many are based on your child’s school district’s calendar year. Remember to keep an eye on events during the year that can impact end date such as snow days and this year COVID-19 and check your email from your school district and school so that you have current information. Once you know when your time starts, you can plan for your travel, childcare, vacations, and other plans accordingly. This year, due to COVID -19, our courts have specified that summer parenting time begins the week school would have went on summer break. In other words, treat 2020 normally, even though no schools are meeting face to face.
- Second, make sure you are aware of deadlines. The most important deadlines are any contained in your court order. For example, it could specify when you need to let the other parent know about your vacation preferences. Most summer parenting time orders - state something like: “the father will notify the mother before May 20 of the weeks in summer which are his scheduled weeks. If there is a conflict between the parents, then in even years, the father’s preference is followed, and in odd years, then the mother’s preference is followed.” There are also deadlines around making reservations for travel or lodging, camps, and childcare. It is best to keep all these deadlines in mind then suggest your weeks, and then make plans. .
- Verify that in writing the details you are required to with the other parent. Confirmation, verification and disclosure requirements vary from case to case. Most of the time a simple email can do the trick. For example: Hey, just a heads up that I got the hotel for July 9, which is my week with the kids. I am pretty sure we agreed to this a few weeks ago, I just wanted to let you know it is reserved. Email me back as soon as possible if you have any objection. If there are other people such as your attorney, your co-parent’s attorney, a GAL, or other person that needs to be aware of your plans, remember to include them in your email.
- Get more time if you need more time. If you are planning your summer and you do not have enough time to do all the things you want to do, consider asking for more time. Your co-parent has the power to agree to more time and that is probably the best place to start. If you are not interested in discussing it with your co-parent or they say no, you should consider asking the court.
The ADAM attorneys at Shaw Law Group can help you enforce your current summer parenting time order, assess whether you should be asking for more summer parenting time, or go to court to get more summer parenting time. Contact us if we can help.