How to Create a Summer Custody Schedule

Custody is a common parenting agreement referring to the legal guardianship of a child, or siblings, and co-parenting determines how parents share the duties of raising their children. Co-parenting can be challenging even in healthy relationships. It requires active, open communication, the ability to solve disagreements, and reacting favorably in various situations. 

It’s important to minimize stress during your co-parenting journey, especially when you want to enjoy special occasions with your children, such as a summer vacation. Here are some ways to make the best of summer vacation while abiding by legal parenting agreements and avoiding conflict with the other party.

Create a Custom Schedule

Working out a new schedule might take a little time, but it’s definitely worth it if you can come to an agreement. Start with the court-ordered schedule and work around it to best fit your needs. In this stage, it’s important to remain flexible and understanding for the sake of your child’s happiness. Work together to create a time-sharing plan that feels fair for everyone. To protect yourself, it’s wise to seek legal counsel anytime you wish to amend court orders, including parenting agreements. 

Share a Calendar 

A shared calendar is a great way for both parents to visualize plans in writing and can be especially helpful for forgetful or busy parents. There are countless free online calendars you can share to help ensure a clear understanding of future plans. A calendar can also help both co-parents see exactly how much time they are actually spending with the children. This will allow everyone to be on the same page and have a common understanding that sets a mutually agreed schedule in place and helps to avoid resentment and hard feelings.

Have a Solid Personal Schedule

Children need structure, especially when they’re out of school for long periods of time. This may require you to let them in on vacation plans as well as some of your personal plans. It is important that your personal schedule does not interfere with seeing your child. Also, it’s vital to understand that you still have to continue paying child support, even if you have your child more over the summer. Funding a vacation is not an excuse to stop paying your court-ordered child support.

Keep Your Children First

Divorce is stressful for kids, even if they are old enough to pick where or who they want to vacation and stay with over the summer. Keeping your children in a regular routine of sports classes and playdates is key to reducing their anxiety. It’s important to talk to your children about the visitation schedule through open communication to ensure they’re comfortable with travel, summer custody, and time at home.

Navigating summer custody and co-parenting do not have to be unbearable if both parents are committed to planning out their schedules in advance and coming together to reach an agreement in writing where both parties are held responsible. Do you need help in navigating divorce, co-parenting, and a summer schedule? The Law Office of Joseph Cerino is here for you. Give us a call at 239.561.2820 or visit our website at to learn more.

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The law office of Joseph Cerino handles all matters of litigation, concentrating in family law including divorce, custody, child support, paternity, alimony, property division and domestic violence, as well as, criminal defense and appeals in Southwest Florida.

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