9.7Susan M. Hais

Joint physical custody plans usually define how the parents split the summer. Either one parent gets the whole summer because they sacrifice school year weeks, or both parents somehow split the summer down the middle. However, summer vacation, camp, and scout plans don’t always line up with the original custody schedule.

This is how parents can handle joint-custody summer plans in a fair way that works for everyone:

Be Fair About 3rd Party Days
If your child wants to go to summer camp or have a week-long sleepover at their best friend’s house, both parents need to be understanding that this is not parenting time for either one. 3rd party summer days will happen more and more as your child gets older, and they should be free to make at least a few of their own plans each summer.

Be fair with each other and divvy up the days that are not 3rd party days. If this cuts into one parent’s 50-50 share significantly, consider letting your child earn the camp and a week off with the other parent during the school year with good grades and behavior.

Trade Holidays for Summer Days
Let’s say one parent wants more than their summer share of days because of a family vacation they have planned. They can use other parenting days during the year, like arbitrarily traded holidays (ie: St Patricks, 4th of July) to the other parent for the days they take. This ensures that the parenting time remains 50-50 overall.

Reallocate the Summer with Vacation Blocks
Finally, if the two of you normally split the summer by some weekly schedule, it’s very normal to simply re-distribute the summer days with vacation blocks sketched out. This allows both parents to plan separate vacations around each other or for one parent to get most of the days not covered by the other’s planned vacation.

Splitting parenting time 50-50 is not as challenging as it seems at first. Especially if co-parents are willing to work together to schedule what is best for the kids and parenting relationships overall. For a consultation on how to handle your summer custody plans, contact us today.