Co-parenting can be complicated and difficult during the summer when a child is home from school and parents might be planning trips or other activities. According to the Michigan Courts, parents should take into account varying parenting time schedule considerations depending upon the age of the child and the child’s needs, and those considerations should also include long breaks from school and summer vacation. Since most school-aged children are not in the classroom over the summer, parents make various plans for spending time with their kids in addition to making plans for camps and other extracurricular activities. Yet because summer schedules are different from school-year schedules, they can pose complications for child custody and visitation from June through September. The following are some key issues to keep in mind when planning for child custody and parenting time during the summer.
Developing a Parenting Time Schedule That Works for Your Family
The parenting time schedule that you develop with your child’s other parent, if you are able to reach an agreement, can be flexible so that your family’s schedule can shift over the summer according to intended plans. Sometimes parents develop a parenting time schedule in which they treat the summer just like any other time of the year, and each parent will, for example, have the child every other week. However, summer can also be a time for parenting time schedules to change, and parents might agree that the child will spend one month with each parent before going back to the school-year schedule, or that each parent will have the child every other summer.
The key to handling child custody and visitation during the summer is planning ahead and taking into account your child’s and your family’s needs.
Considering the Importance of Flexibility
While it may not always be possible to be flexible with scheduling, it is important—for the sake of your child and for your co-parenting relationship with your ex—to be flexible during the summer, in particular, if you can. Unexpected issues can arise, or your child might want to attend a sleepaway camp that lasts for several weeks and upsets the existing parenting time schedule. If you are willing to be flexible, it is often possible to work out a solution for all parties.
Tips for Developing a Summer Co-Parenting Schedule
When you are planning for child custody during the summer and developing a parenting time schedule, you should consider the following tips to avoid unnecessary conflict:
- Establish a detailed parenting time schedule and stick to it as much as possible, but do so with the acknowledgment that you may need to be flexible;
- Do your best to make schedule changes in advance and to avoid last-minute shifts to the schedule; and
- Focus on your children’s needs and what is best for them.
Contact Our Michigan Child Custody Attorneys Today
Developing a parenting time schedule is complicated, particularly when you are trying to plan for the summer and your child’s break from school. Our experienced Michigan child custody lawyers can assist you. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information about working with our firm to develop a parenting time schedule that includes specific considerations for summer and holidays.