A Guide to Split Parenting Time in the Summer

The summer can be a challenging time for parents who are divorced or are in the midst of a divorce. When kids are out of school for three months, parents need to plan far in advance to make visitation during this time as easy as possible. If parties are already divorced, they will need to follow their judgment with respect to summertime parenting time and the payment of costs involved for camps and activities. If you and your spouse are not yet divorced and do not have a temporary parenting time order for summer parenting time, here are some tips for navigating co-parenting over the summer:

Thoroughly Plan Vacation Time

During the summer season, vacations are more popular than ever, so before planning out the entire summer, start out with vacation time. You and your co-parent should communicate when and where any vacations, even small ones, will be taking place over the course of the summer and come to an agreement that both parties find fair. It’s important to ensure that these vacation dates and locations are communicated and solidified between both parties, especially if the vacation is out of the country or for an extended period of time.

Determine how School Aged Children Will Spend Their Days

It’s not uncommon for parents to enroll their children in extracurricular activities like sports or camps during the summer, especially if both parents work, but these activities affect visitation schedules, planned vacations and parenting time. If your child is old enough to be in school and both you and your co-parent work, there needs to be a discussion on how your child will be spending their days. Whether that’s a trip to see grandparents or a summer camp, it needs to be clear what your kids are doing while you and your co-parent are at work. As soon as there is a schedule for your child’s summer activities, you and your co-parent should negotiate a visitation plan that you both feel comfortable with in tandem with planned vacations.

Know the Costs Involved for Extracurriculars

As you plan for how your child will spend their summer days, you also need to prepare for the potentially significant costs associated with extracurriculars, like sign-up fees or any equipment needed for sports. Both parents should determine the total cost of any activities their children will be participating in and put together a plan detailing how much each parent will contribute.

Schedule Make Up Time

Life can be unpredictable, which means that child visitation throughout the year doesn’t always go as planned. If either parent is owed time with their child from visits missed throughout the year, the flexibility of summer makes it the ideal time to make up for any lost time. When scheduling this time, it’s important to keep in mind the vacation and extracurricular schedules that you and your co-parent have put together.

The key to a successful summer visitation plan is to be organized and effectively communicate with your co-parent. The flexibility of summer offers more time to be spent with your child, and if planned appropriately, even parents going through a divorce can make the most of this important time with their children.