Your child custody schedule that you created when you got divorced is probably just based around your work schedule. You and your ex both have jobs, so you try to find ways that you can watch the kids when you’re at home. If the children are in school, this does get a bit easier, but you still divide up duties – such as picking them up from school or dropping them off in the morning – based on this consistent weekly schedule.
In the summers, that consistency is eliminated. The children no longer have to go to school. Teens and older children may work, but young children simply stay at home. This can make the custody scheduling complicated because it no longer fits with your schedule.
Do you need to change the schedule?
One important question to ask is simply if you need a new schedule for the summer. Maybe you do every other week during the school year because that is very simple, but now you want to switch to something like a 2-2-3 schedule. For those who have a flexible work schedule, you may simply be able to work longer days when you don’t have the kids and work less when you do.
Plan ahead, especially for trips
Summer is also often a time when families will take trips since the children won’t have to miss school anyway. You can certainly do this in most cases, but it is important to plan early so that you and your ex don’t plan a trip at the same time. You also want to make sure that you communicate with your ex as you make the plans so that they know exactly where the kids will be.
Remember to stay flexible
Finally, you just want to try to be as flexible as you can with your time. When things change, be open to cooperating and coordinating with your ex. Always look out for the children’s best interests. Try to give them the best possible summer experience you can, even if that means you have to shift your custody schedule to something that isn’t ideal.
If you and your former spouse do run into any custody conflicts as a result of this change, be sure you also know about all of your legal options.