How To Divide Custody And Visitation During The Summer
Summer can be both an exciting and daunting time of year, especially for separated parents. For single working parents of kids on summer break, without a plan in place with the other parents for childcare, it can be difficult to take care of the kids while juggling your other daily responsibilities. This is where a custody order—or parenting plan—comes in. Having a parenting plan with clear instructions for both parents as to where the children will be during the summer can be critical in allowing you to plan out your summer while your children are out of school.
There are a few ways that Georgia parenting plans typically divide the summer between separated parents. In this post, we’ll discuss a few examples of those summer plans. But every situation is different, and what works best for your family may not always fit the traditional mold(s). In most instances, Georgia parenting plans provide that the summer parenting time rules take priority over “regular,” or week to week, parenting time. But in the absence of specific summertime provisions, or in between specified summer weeks, your regular parenting time schedule will typically control.
- Designated Summer Weeks. The most common summer parenting plan provision allocates a specific number of consecutive or non-consecutive weeks during the summer for each parent, which take priority over the regular parenting time schedule. Typically, the party with priority selection in any given year must provide the other party with notice of which week or weeks that party selects for the summer. Then the other party gets to do the same in response. This allows both parties to have a guaranteed amount of uninterrupted parenting time in the summer to spend with the children, taking vacations or just enjoying more time than normal.
- Splitting the Summer. Some parenting plans split the summer in half, with one party taking the first half (or the month of June), and the other taking the second half (or the month of July). Even more than with designated weeks, these sorts of plans allow for both parents to have significant time with the children during the summer, to plan events, vacations, camps, etc.
- Alternating Weeks. A third option is an alternating week schedule, where the children move from one party to the other every other week. This creates an equal division of time during the summer, but does not leave the children with only one parent for an extended period of time, as with splitting the summer down the middle.
- Other Considerations. As the children get older, other considerations for how to divide the summer come into play. For example, the children may attend camps each year that occur at specific times, or be engaged in other extracurricular activities that take significant time during the summer. Accordingly, it may be prudent to account for these scheduling issues when making a decision on summer parenting time.
Of course, every family is different, and many parenting plans have unique provisions addressing summer parenting time. If you have questions about how to structure a summer parenting time agreement or how to interpret your existing parenting plan, the attorneys at Buckhead Family Law are standing by to help. Schedule a consultation today by calling 470-600-6699.