Articles Tagged with summer break

Summer vacation has already started for many Washington children, and will be starting soon for the rest. For children of unmarried parents, this often means a change in their residential schedule. During the summer, kids may be spending more time with the non-primary residential parent at his or her home, or they may be vacationing with one or both parents. This can also mean changes in childcare and extracurricular activities.

Parenting plans can help families plan how summer break will be handled. Some families choose to have summer schedules that mimic their school year residential schedules. This is most common in families where both parents are local, and both parents work during the summer. For these families it can make the most sense to have the school year schedule continue year-round. This avoids unnecessary changes for the children and maintains frequent contact with both parents throughout the year.

Other unmarried parents have plans that schedule the children to reside the majority of the summer with a parent living far away from the child’s usual residence. This allows the children to have substantial time with the non-local parent without missing school or compromising their extracurricular schedule. It can be difficult for the child to be away from the primary residential parent. Frequent communication between the primary residential parent and the child should be encouraged.

The summer is a busy time of year for many families. This can be especially true for two-home families (i.e. families in which the parents of the children are not married and/or live in separate homes). In addition to attending summer camps, daycare, playdates and barbeques kids are often experiencing a different residential schedule than they are used to.

Many two-home families vary their school schedule from their summer schedule within their parenting plan or residential schedule. This often makes sense, because the children’s schedules can vary so widely from their school year schedule. Many non-primary residential parents use this as an opportunity to spend more time with their kids. Some use it as a time to travel, camp, or just enjoy additional time together. For many, their summer schedule is more enjoyable than their school year schedule. Some families maintain their school year schedules during the summer. This can be due to work conflicts (i.e. the parents have to work traditional schedules year round and thus would be unable to enjoy the additional time with the kids anyway), or to provide continuity for the kids.

No matter what the reason, or the schedule, if it works for the parents and the kids, the plan is likely a keeper. However, if you don’t currently have a parenting plan or residential schedule in place, or if your parenting plan doesn’t fit you and your kids’ current needs, please contact us so that we can discuss your options for this summer or next.

As summer vacation draws near, thoughts of swimming pools, suntan lotion and backyard barbeques fill most of our minds. But for parents facing their summer parenting plan schedule, other thoughts might be coming to mind. Many families with parenting plans have one residential schedule for their children during the school year and another for the summer. This means that in the coming months, these families have to adjust to more than just getting used to seeing a bit more sun in the sky.

Kids often spend more time during the summer with the parent that they don’t reside the majority of the time with during the school year. This can mean excitement and some stress for the kids and the non-majority parent. There are adjustments to family schedules, how much food to make for meals, limits on screen-time, the setting of summer bedtimes, and more. For the parent with whom the children reside the majority of the time it can often mean less time with the kids. Some parents use this as a time to do some adults-only traveling, or a time to do some summer cleaning without frequent interruptions from the kids.

For most families, summer parenting plans can be personalized to the needs of a particular family. If the kids are young they may do better with an every-other-week rotating schedule (or perhaps even maintaining the school year schedule). When kids are older, some families choose to have a three to five week block of time with each parent. Still other families choose to maintain the school year schedule. The plan should be personalized to meet the needs of a particular family.

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