In the summertime, or during school holidays, child custody arrangements often require adjusting. If you have school-age children, you may find yourself visiting or revisiting the issues of summer and/or holiday child custody with your ex-spouse. First and foremost, take out the divorce agreement. Sometimes, the parents forget special custody arrangements are specifically and separately addressed in the agreement. Taking a few minutes to review this document could save you some heartache in the long run. If the decree is silent about summer and/or holiday custody issues, you may be able to resolve any issues directly with your ex, or you may require the assistance of an attorney.
Expectations for the Children
To work, or not to work, that is the question for parents of teens. Some parents value summer jobs as a means for children to learn responsibility. It also provides them with the opportunity to earn their own spending money. Other parents are of the belief that their children will be working full time soon enough, and that summer should be a time of relaxation and hanging out with friends. There is no right approach to summer time and job expectations for teens. However, it is a good idea to make certain both parents are on the same page – particularly if they may be driving their teen to and from the job.
Leaving the Children Home Alone
There are many variables that can impact a parent's decision to leave the children home alone, rather than pay for daycare. Some of these variables include the maturity of the child, the number of hours a parent will be gone during the day, and whether the child will be responsible for other children in the household while the parent is at work. If possible, this should be a joint decision between the children's parents. Having a united front on this issue, regardless of the decision, provides stability and certainty for the children. When one parent has scheduled custodial time with the children, yet unexpectedly is required to report to work, the parents may determine a "right of first refusal" agreement would benefit the children by allowing the non-custodial parent to care for the children in the other's absence.
Summer Camp Expectations
Some children may be scheduled for sleep away camp. Others may have a daily sports camp lined up. Regardless of the nature of the extracurricular activities, some time should be set aside to discuss parental expectations and duties. Parents should discuss, at a minimum:
- Transportation to and from camp
- Spending money while at camp
- Altered visitation schedules before, during, and after camp
- Additional supplies the child will need at camp
If You Have Issues with Your Divorce Decree
If you have issues with your divorce decree, such as issues regarding parenting time or child support, or if you are thinking of getting a divorce, contact Frost & Kavanaugh, PC. We have a robust divorce and family law practice and offer a wide variety of services related to family law issues such as parenting time, custody, visitation, and child support. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.