As another school year draws to a close, separated and divorced parents must face the daunting task of creating summer parenting plans for their children. Co-parents that agree on a fair and detailed summer schedule well before the last day of school can reduce unnecessary conflict and stress for everyone involved. Even in the most amicable divorces, detailed parenting plans are advised.
An effective parenting plan includes much more than outlining which parent has the children on certain days. A thorough parenting plan addresses summer activities such as camp or sports, financial responsibility for summer activities, transportation and travel arrangements, and rules for each child.
It is best to maintain a regular calendar rotation during summer break, with the exception of pre-planned vacations. Parents should also adhere to regular rotation for holidays, even if it means longer weekends for one parent each year. By alternating schedules from year to year, each parent receives the same number of holidays and long weekends.
As early as possible, each parent should notify the other parent of summer vacation plans. Out-of-state vacations should be approved by the other parent. As far as which parent gets first choice of vacation dates, parents can alternate from year to year. Parents planning to include significant others in vacation plans also should notify the other parent. With younger children, the generally accepted amount of time for vacation is two weeks. For older children, vacations lasting up to a month are typically acceptable.
There are countless activities available for children to enjoy during the summer break. These can include day camps, sleepaway camps, sport camps and pool clubs. Older children might plan to earn a bit of money with a summer job. Both parents should agree on the best way for the kids to spend their summer days and establish a schedule accordingly. If both parents work, childcare must be arranged, as well as transportation to and from activities.
Ground Rules During Summer
Many parents ease up on family rules during summer. Bedtimes are usually a bit later, and children typically get to spend more time with their friends. Before summer break even begins, both parents should agree to the ground rules for summer. Consistency gives children a sense of security and continuity as they transition between households. Both parents should establish the rules for bedtime, screen time, chores and safety in a way that benefits the children and is fair to parents. Guidelines for the children’s telephone contact with the other parent should also be included in the summer parenting plan.
Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Parents Create Practical Parenting Plans
Working with a knowledgeable Towson child custody lawyer to create a parenting plan can prevent needless battles with your former spouse once summer break arrives. We will protect your parental rights and ensure that your parenting plan is thorough, fair, and most importantly – always in the best interests of your child. Call the Hunt Valley, Maryland offices of Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC at 443-589-0150 or contact us online to discuss your situation.
Huesman, Jones and Miles serves clients in and around Hunt Valley, Cockeysville, Lutherville, Timonium, Upper Falls, Phoenix, Riderwood, Sparks, Glencoe, Towson, Brooklandville, Butler, Stevenson, Glyndon, Monkton, Reisterstown, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Boring, Glen Arm, Baldwin, Upperco, Hydes and Baltimore County.