Making Summer Parenting Time Plans
In just a short time, school-aged children throughout Northern Illinois will be exchanging their textbooks for sunscreen, as summer vacation will soon be upon us. For their part, many parents are also looking forward to a summer filled with family gatherings, day trips, and outdoor adventures. Parents who share parenting time with a former spouse or partner, however, may have to do a little extra planning before they can truly enjoy the warmer months ahead.
What Does Your Parenting Time Plan Say?
If you are subject to a child custody order—also called a parenting plan—the order may spell out summer specifics in regard to parenting time. For example, your plan may explicitly state that your children will be with the other parent for the duration of the summer break, especially if you have primary residential responsibilities during the school year. Other plans may split parenting time during the summer the same way it is divided during the non-summer months. In more casual situations, you may even have the freedom to make parenting time arrangements on a week-by-week basis with the other parent.
Before you make any big plans, it is a good idea for you and the other parent to roughly lay out the whole summer. If you intend to take a week-long trip with your children in July, for example, tell the other parent now. Give him or her the chance to plan something similar, if he or she chooses. If you would like to make plans for a child-free vacation, you will need to communicate that as well.
Be Appropriately Flexible
While planning ahead is the most important thing you can do to prepare for summer parenting, there is—and should be—room for improvisation. Summer is the perfect time for spontaneous plans. What if your children are scheduled to be with their other parent and someone gives you tickets to tomorrow’s Cubs game? Or, what if the roles are reversed and your children were supposed to be with you and the other parent was given tickets? Should you deny your children the opportunity to spend a summer night at the ballpark just because it was not planned weeks in advance? When you are willing to be flexible with your former partner on issues like these, he or she is likely to offer such flexibility in return.
Contact Us for Help
If you would like to discuss your parenting plan in more detail, or you have questions about planning for the upcoming summer break, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation at MKFM Law today.