During the school year, it is easy to get into a rhythm with an agreed-upon visitation schedule with your former spouse. If your child attends school from Monday through Friday, your options are somewhat limited to the weekends.
If you don’t live near your former spouse, or one of you is traveling or working a lot, a 70/30 schedule is a common solution. The child gets a little more consistency because he or she is in one location a majority of the time. Usually, the child will be with the other parent every other weekend.
A downside of this scheduling plan is that one parent has less time with the child. Because the goal is to allow both parents to be a part of their child’s life, the summer may be an opportunity. During this time, the parent with less time can get extended periods with their child.
Establishing A Summer Schedule
The first step is to figure out what times are available for you. During the school year, you worked around school hours. In the summertime, you could build a schedule based on when vacation starts.
Consider if there is anything else the child is planning or wanting to do, i.e., a summer sports camp, you can factor that in.
Using The Whole Summer
In some circumstances, one parent may have the child for the whole summer. If one person moves a significant distance with the child, the other may have little to no physical contact with them during the school year.
To make up for the lost time, one parent may get the child for the duration of the vacation. It may be a good idea to return the child a week before his or her school begins again to let them get settled.
Switch It Up
If you had been living with the every-other-weekend schedule, reverse it. You were likely dropping the child off on Friday evenings. Then you’d get them back on Sunday nights. This is work in the other direction too. Let the other parent have the child the majority of the time.
This doesn’t mean that you would lose your vacation time necessarily. If you had a trip planned with your child, talk to your former spouse and work out a schedule.
This is why it is so important to have open lines of communication. These schedules require a back and forth. Life, work, and summers are full of variables. A schedule takes a bit of fine-tuning.
Lastly, create the schedule that is best for your child. Don’t allow the anger you have towards your former spouse impact your child’s relationship with him or her. Do what is right for the child. And never use him or her as a bargaining chip. Work to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship.
OMG Law Firm
Divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences of your life—and working through a custody agreement can potentially make it more complex. At OMG Law Firm, we practice family law because we are driven by a desire to help you during a challenging time. Contact us to schedule a consultation. We can also be reached at (870) 330-7325.