The countdown for summer break has started. Before you know it, your children will be out of school and wondering what to do with all their new free time. This may have you thinking about summer vacations out of town, camps, or things that did and didn’t work last school year. Here are a few quick tips on summer parenting time to keep in mind as you jump into summer break!
- Read your Parenting Plan to determine if there is a distinct summer parenting plan. Many Parenting Plans will have a school parenting plan and a different, summer parenting plan. If this is the case for your family, be sure you understand when summer starts and ends per the Parenting Plan. This may be a date specifically stated in the Parenting Plan, or it may coincide with the children’s school calendar. If it is the latter, be sure to double check if there are any changes to the school calendar based upon snow-days, COVID, etc.
- If you are trying to take a summer vacation, be sure that you have satisfied all notice requirements as outlined in your Parenting Plan. Typically, this requires that you provide the other parent with advance notice a certain amount of days before you plan to travel. Notifying the other parent in writing, whether by email, text or a Court Ordered communication app, is generally best practice. Be sure to notify them of where you are going, when you are traveling and include flight information.
- If you want to enroll your children in summer camps or other extracurricular activities keep in mind what your obligations are under the Parenting Plan. Are you required to simply notify the other parent, or are you required to confer and agree upon any extracurriculars and camps? Assuming you and the other parent are on the same page with the activity, remember to also determine how the cost is to be allocated between the two of you.
- Did this last year bring out new challenges for your family that might be mitigated by modifying your parenting plan? A Parenting Plan is not intended to be a stagnant document. Family dynamics change, children get older, interests shift, people move and life continues to change. If you think a change to your Parenting Plan would be helpful, consider contacting a Lawyer to help you modify the Parenting Plan.