With summer rapidly approaching, it is a good idea to start planning how you and your ex will share parenting time over the school break.
If You Have a Plan
If your custody order has a summer parenting time plan included, it’s time to review it. Make sure you understand exactly what you are both entitled to. If you or your ex are entitled to extended vacation time, now is the time to begin planning and talking with each other to coordinate schedules, particularly if your child will be participating in summer sports or camp. If you will be traveling with your child, it is a good idea to notify your ex of your dates before you make any plans that can’t be changed.
If your custody plan is open-ended and provides for parenting time “as agreed,” it’s wise to take the time to consult about how you can divide the summer. If you generally share fairly equal time during the school year, a plan that offers equal access for both of you over the summer is reasonable. If one of you is a non-residential parent who spends significantly less time with your child, summer is a time where some of this time can be made up or compensated for.
Remember that summer parenting time “trumps” regularly scheduled visits. So even though it is technically your weekend, if your ex has scheduled extended time with your child during that time period, the summer visit takes precedence.
If You Do Not Have a Plan
If your custody plan does not specify a summer plan or you have not yet completely hammered out a parenting time plan, it is a good idea to begin thinking about summer now. Many plans include provisions that offer each parent extended time (several weeks) with the child each summer, some of which is commonly used for summer travel. Your attorney will work with you to create a proposed plan that will provide both parents with fair summer parenting time. When creating a summer visitation plan, the following provisions should be considered:
- Access by phone, email, and text to the parent that the child is not currently with during summer parenting time.
- A requirement that the parents notify each other one month in advance before they intend to take their summer visitation
- A requirement that the parents notify each other if they will take the child out of state
- A requirement that the parents provide each other with the destination where each will be taking the child on any trips.
With a little planning, you can ensure that you and your child will enjoy the summer together.
At DeTorres & DeGeorge, your future is our focus. Call us today to discuss divorce, custody, mediation, or any family law issue in New Jersey.