As Spring gradually arrives here in New Jersey, it may seem to early to make plans for the upcoming summer. However, for divorced couples, or couples in the process of getting divorced, there is no time like the present to work on the summer plans for your children. Acting early can prevent problems when it is too late to deal with them.
If you have a court order or written agreement that addresses summer parenting time, read it. Understand the time made available to each parent: are extended periods of parenting time / vacation permitted, does the summer scehdule trump the “regular” scehdule, and most importantly, are there notice provisions required in your agreement? Don’t miss out on parenting time because you advise the other parent of your intentions in time. It is suggested that any communications requesting and arranging summer parenting time be in writing. Don’t make, or at least don’t pay for, summer plans without first reaching an agreement.
In addition to summer parenting time, there may also be the need for summer camps or similar activities as means of child care, enrichment, or just for fun. Remember, it is a vacation for your children who have worked hard all year. Most settlement agreements contain provisions for how such costs will be allocated between the parents. Make sure you follow the procedures you agreed to.
As with many aspects of your post-divorce life, dealing with summer parenting time issues may seem daunting at first. Start working on it early and be reasonable with one another keeping the interests of your child at the forefront. Having a carefully prepared custody and parenting time agreement can go along way towards minimizinv conflict. Focus on enjoying time with your child. That’s what it is all about.