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With summer right around the corner and school just weeks away from being over, your parenting plan needs to be discussed with your child’s other parent. Summer parenting time is different than during the school year for the obvious reason that your child now has a lot more free time. First of all, the parenting plan needs to define when the summer schedule will start and end. Do not assume that it starts on the last day of school and ends on the first day of school in the fall.
Seventy-two percent of American families take summer vacations. As such, a parenting plan should clearly lay out the dates of planned vacations, which need to be discussed and agreed upon by both parents beforehand. To keep things fair, and to ensure that one parent does not monopolize on time with their child by taking an extra long vacation, trip times should remain equal or as close to equal as feasible. Or, the non-traveling parent should be awarded make-up days at the end of the vacation if they do not plan to take one themselves.
Unless the parenting plan specifically states that children cannot be taken out of the country or state, you do not need to worry about where your vacation is limited to. However, it is particularly important for long trips or overseas trips with various destinations for the traveling parent to give dates, locations, hotel phone numbers, and other information to the other parent. Furthermore, if you believe there is a risk that the other parent will simply vanish out of the country with your child, you need to contact an attorney to rewrite the parenting plan to ban overseas travel.
As children grow older, they may wish to go on a trip with their friend’s family, visit their grandparents for a week, or attend a soccer camp or traditional multi-day or multi-week summer camp, of which there are over 12,000 to choose from in the U.S. alone. These are all perfectly normal activities that children should be encouraged to participate in, even though it means that their parents will end up feeling left out. A provision may be necessary to allow this to happen without taking up all of or the majority of one parent’s parenting time. For example, if the normal summer schedule follows the pattern of odd weeks with Dad and even weeks with Mom, a provision should be written to ensure that not all of Mom’s last week in July is used up during a summer camp and that the schedule should be changed to reflect that.
Creating a new parenting plan to reflect the summer activities can be a challenge. To get it right on the first try, contact the Hinsdale family lawyers of the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio at 630-920-8855 today for a free consultation.