Summer Parenting Schedule - How Many Weeks

How should the summer school recess time be allocated between divorcing parents? While every case is different and has unique facts there are some customary answers to this question. Whether that arrangement is the right arrangement will depend on the needs and availability of the parents, the age of the child, the plans of each parent and a number of other factors.

Regardless of whether there is sole or joint custody, typically, each parent receives two weeks whether consecutive or non-consecutive weeks of exclusive time with the children of the marriage. Agreements will often provide a schedule of when each parent must notify the other parent of the weeks being selected and the right of first choice can be alternated each year between the parents.

There is no requirement that the parent actually take the child on vacation or be away from home with the child. The parent may need to work but still wants the children home in the evening and on the weekend for activities where the continuity is not interrupted by the regular visitation schedule. Of course, if the non-custodial parent must work during the exclusive time with the child, then that parent should arrange for appropriate child care if necessary.

I also have clients who will divide the summer in half and either alternate weeks or take blocks of time of two weeks or longer. If the children will be attending camp, the non-custodial parent should be consulted so that they have the opportunity to enjoy time with the children as well. This is even more of an issue if the children are attending sleep away camp. Often the non-custodial parent will say that they do not want the chld attending during their exclusive time whether that is two weeks or half the summer.

Another issue parents face is when does summer recess start and end. There is usually a week or more in June after school is finished and several days in September before Labor Day and a day or two after Labor Day before school resumes. A setlement agreement should specify when the parents will resume the school schedule of visitation.

Drafting summer recess parenting schedules is tricky and if left incomplete can cause future problems. Please call my office to obtain legal representation so that these problems can be avoided.