Ideally parents will agree on how to share the summer recess time with
their children even if they are in the middle of a
contested divorce. However, experience shows that sometimes lawyers have to negotiate or
have an attorney for the child appointed or arrange for a custody case
worker to assist.
While most parents do not divide the summer equally in half, that of course
can be done. Instead most parents arrange to each have two or three weeks
of exclusive parenting time with their children during which the regular
parenting schedule is suspended. This way each parent can go away with the children without
the daily/weekly back and forth of the "regular" schedule. Some
parents will provide that the week not be consecutive whereas others do
The first step to working out the summer schedule is communication with
the other parent. Ideally, let the other parent know which weeks you want
by May 15th, this way the other parent can also make plans for the children.
Sometimes, the parents will have a "stay cation" where they
do not travel but stay home and do local activities or just hang out with
each other. The key is to work it out and to consider what are the usual
summer plans for the child and whether the parent's schedules can
take that into consideration.
If a child goes to camp will the parents' time be limited to the weeks
before and after camp starts? Should the child go to camp for only 4 weeks
instead of 8 weeks? Are there other concessions that can be worked out
using other school recesses if necessary to adjust for less summer time
due to the child's activities?
Parents that truly desire resolution will reach an agreement. Parents that
cannot be flexible or where one parent is unreasonable will be bound for court.