When parents choose to get a divorce, they will need to determine when children will spend time with each parent. While it is important to create and follow a regular parenting time schedule, parents can still choose to be flexible, and they may be able to agree to make changes to the schedule as needed. One common situation in which changes may be necessary occurs when the kids are out of school for holidays or summer breaks. During vacations, children have more free time to spend with each parent, and so parents should work together to determine a schedule that is in the best interests of the children.

Scheduling Factors

In many divorces, children will reside with one parent for the majority of the time while spending some amount of parenting time with the other parent. However, some divorced couples are able to share equal or near-equal amounts of parenting time. While these arrangements provide consistency during the school year, schedules may need to be adjusted during the children’s summer vacation. When creating a summer parenting schedule, many factors come into play, including the children’s ages, the distance between the parents’ homes, parents’ work schedules, and plans for summer activities.

When making a new summer residential schedule, the timeline usually starts when the child gets out of school, and it ends once he or she goes back to school. A summer schedule that is in the best interests of the child can often be worked out between both parents. For example, if one parent is a teacher and does not work during the summer, the parents may decide that the child will spend the weekdays with that parent and the weekends with the other parent. This arrangement can be helpful if the child is young, eliminating the need to have the child go to a daycare facility or stay with relatives during working hours. As children get older, parents may need to make changes to these arrangements as needed; for example, teenagers might need a schedule that fits with their social life and sports or extracurricular activities.

In some cases, parents may choose to have children live with one parent during the entire summer. This type of arrangement can be helpful when parents live far apart or in separate states, making it hard for children to spend time with the non-residential parent throughout the school year. Parents may also choose to alternate years in which children spend the summer with each parent, allowing them to enjoy trips or other activities with children throughout the summer.

Parents may also choose to alternate weeks of parenting time throughout the summer, or they can continue to follow the regular parenting time schedule while also agreeing to adjust dates to accommodate each other’s vacation plans. If both parents are flexible and willing to compromise, a summer residential schedule can typically work for everyone.

Contact a Hillside Divorce Attorney

The summer often provides divorced parents with a good opportunity to spend more time with their children. If you need help creating a summer residential schedule that will meet your family’s needs and foster your relationship with your children, contact our Oak Park child custody lawyer with over 31 years of experience at 708-449-7400 to arrange a free consultation.