Summer Timesharing in a Parenting Plan
How to manage when your school-age children are not in school
Trying to figure out how to manage timesharing with your school-age children when they are not in school, especially during the several weeks of summer vacation, is a challenge. Typically, when parents of minor children (children from birth to l8 years and beyond if a child is unable to support themself for physical or mental reasons) are going through a divorce or separation, there will be what is called a parenting plan created. This plan can be formed at mediation by the parents themselves, or if the case goes before a judge, the judge will formulate the plan. Several issues will be covered in the plan, one of them being how parental timesharing will work during the summer months when school is out.
There are different ways to solve the problem of summer timesharing depending on the work schedule of the parents. In Florida, the motto of Family Court is “in the best interest of the child.” Therefore, a parenting plan will look first at the needs of the minor child and then look at how the parents must adjust to make sure their child is properly cared for. A judge will insist that parents share the responsibility of summer care for their minor child. Of course, each situation has its own scenario, but here are a few ways that have worked:
- The minor child will spend half the summer with each parent. It will be up to the parent to provide suitable care such as a camp or qualified babysitter during the work hours of the parent. This arrangement is often made when parents live a distance apart, and weekly timesharing has not been possible. There are advantages to this plan as it gives each parent an extended period of time to be with their child and hopefully forge lasting bonds.
- When parents live near each other and have regular timesharing during the year, the regular timesharing schedule may continue during the summer months. It will mean, however, that when it is a parent’s turn to have their child, suitable all-day activities and care will need to be provided.
- A popular solution for summer timesharing is to continue the regular schedule except for two weeks for each parent when they can have the child to enjoy without interruption from the other parent. This is often the time when a parent will take off work and spend time with their child, perhaps going on a vacation trip. Again, should the parent need to work during the two weeks, appropriate care must be provided.
Summer is a wonderful time for children when parents plan special events and fun times together. By putting the summer timesharing arrangements in the parenting plan, the court can make sure children and parents will have a meaningful summer, hopefully, one to remember with a smile.
Attorney Grant Gisondo, board-certified with over a decade of successful Marriage and Family Law practice, can answer your questions regarding summer timesharing. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation at his office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. His practice covers Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough Counties in Florida and New York, and Washington DC. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. You can call (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.