Summer vacation is a great time to be a kid. School-age kids get ten to twelve weeks away from the classroom during the warmest and sunniest part of the year, just in time for lots of fun summer vacations.
With four federal holidays from May through September, there are lots of opportunities for family gatherings. And those gatherings can be a lot more fun with your children attending them.
Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer every year toward the end of May. And Labor Day is its traditional end each September. In between are Juneteenth and the Fourth of July.
You could be the loving parent of one or more children and share child custody following a divorce. If so, the summer holidays could be very fun or very lonely.
How you handle custody during summer vacations can make a big difference between being generally upset or reasonably happy. And it could affect your relationship with your kids.
Mothers’ Day and Father’s Day Considerations
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are about six weeks apart. Common sense suggests the mother should have custody during Mother’s Day weekend and the father during Father’s Day weekend, but you also might choose to incorporate them into your custody arrangements by grouping together the special days along with a federal holiday. That could make it easier to have the kids stay for an extended time with one parent followed by an extended time with the other.
For example, the mother could get an extended stay with the kids for two to three weeks by combining Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. The father could combine Juneteenth and Father’s Day.
That would just leave only Independence Day and Labor Day to be decided. Career demands and other responsibilities or life events might make planning more difficult. School schedules might interfere with preferred custody schedules. But there are many possibilities that could provide suitable solutions with some creativity and common sense applied.
Rotate Custody on Holidays Each Year
The easiest way to share child custody during summer vacations is to rotate custody on holidays and other special days.
For example, one parent might have custody during Memorial Day and Independence Day during odd-numbered years. That parent also might have custody during Juneteenth and Labor Day during even-numbered years.
The other parent would get custody on Memorial Day and Independence Day on even-numbered years and Juneteenth and Labor Day during odd-numbered years.
The recent addition of Juneteenth helps to even out the potential holiday schedule when it comes to determining custody.
That certainly is not the intent of that holiday. But it does help to make summertime custody schedules more equitable if both parents share roughly equal custody.
Birthdays Can Affect Summer Custody Plans
The timing of birthdays could complicate summer custody scheduling, too. One or both parents or one or more children might have a birthday during the summer months.
The timing of those birthdays might coincide nicely with the holidays. Or they might conflict greatly. How you handle them will determine whether or not it is a burden or a blessing.
If you live near your former spouse, you might celebrate the children’s birthdays as a group. A birthday party hosted by one parent and attended by the other is a good way to accomplish that.
But it might be too emotionally trying to be near your spouse. If so, then you might hold separate birthday celebrations for the kids. Separate celebrations, perhaps one a big party with friends and one just for family with the exception of your ex, could provide equal opportunities to enjoy a birthday celebration with your child without running the risk of arguing with your former spouse.
Career or Life Demands Could Affect Custody Availability
It always is important to remain aware of the career demands that one or both parents might have. If one parent was a primary earner during a marriage, that parent likely has less time for custody following a divorce.
Both parents might have equal ability to share custody of their children after a divorce. That certainly is an ideal situation and makes it easier to draw up a simple custody agreement. One parent might be more burdened than the other regarding time availability. It still is important to aid that parent in being as involved as possible in the children’s lives. Federal holidays could make that possible during the summer months.
Make a Backup Plan for Schedule Changes
Flexibility, understanding, and cooperation are three very key ingredients in making any custody agreement work. A sudden change of plans might be necessary for many potential reasons, like in the event that one parent becomes sick and the kids need to stay away for their own health. A sudden work demand might make it impossible for one of you to follow the custody schedule during a particular week or month. Or, maybe the car broke down on the day you were supposed to trade custody, and the other parent cannot drive over to pick up the kids.
No matter what the reason might be or how much notice you might receive, you should try to do your best to be flexible and cooperate when the situation demands. Having an emergency backup plan can help to ensure the kids have a place to stay and spend time with you and your spouse when possible.
Courts recognize the importance of enabling both parents to have active relationships with their children. Unless one parent is unfit for some reason, children generally are better off with regular contact with both parents.
That makes it very important to try your best to maintain peaceful relations with your former spouse. And that includes working together to make a custody schedule work for the sake of your children.
Baltimore Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, Help to Uphold Your Parental Rights
You can reach our experienced Baltimore child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, by calling 443-589-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at one of our law offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland.