Summer break often presents challenges when it comes to child custody and visitation for divorced parents and their kids. In Alabama, the courts encourage parents to work together to create a schedule that gives both parents frequent contact with the child or children.
Because schedules that work during the school year may not work for everyone during summer vacation, it might be necessary to ask for a separate summer schedule that everyone can support. This means creating a custom schedule for the summer that accounts for the kids’ time off from school, any planned vacations, and any other special arrangements that need to be made.
Deciding the Time Frame for Your Schedule
Alabama doesn’t have a standard visitation schedule, so you are free to establish a schedule that you and your co-parent can agree on. If you can’t reach an agreement, a judge may have to determine it for you.
Some summer visitation schedule examples include:
Suppose your established dates run from Monday, June 10 through Friday, August 16 to align with your child’s summer break. Based on that you and your co-parent could:
- Schedule custody dates in blocks to go through all or part of the summer.
- Swap your normal custody schedule in the summertime. If the child’s mother has custody during the week and the child’s father has visitation on the weekends, some parents choose to flip that during the summertime.
- Give one parent full custody of the children during the summer.
- Give each parent custody on alternating weeks.
Tips to Ensure That Summer Transitions Go More Smoothly
At the end of the day, all parents want what is best for their children. Working together as parents can help ease your children into their new summer schedules.
Change can be hard, but cooperation can help everyone have an enjoyable and stress-free summer break.
Some tips that might help you and your children during the summer transition include:
- Consider your children’s needs and communicate openly about the plan with them.
- Stick to the plan once it’s established.
- Be flexible.
- Try to avoid last minute changes.
- Make plans for the times you’ll be away from your children, and consider seeing a therapist to help with any separation anxiety you might be feeling.
Cooperating When You Have to Share Child Custody
Following these tips can allow you and your children to better enjoy summer. Putting the needs of your children first when working on a shared custody plan is essential.
While sticking to your established schedule is important, remember that things happen and sometimes conflicts can’t be avoided. Being patient and understanding can go a long way. Your co-parent might appreciate your willingness to be flexible and compromise – and they might be more understanding if you have unforeseen conflicts or issues that arise.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
At Leigh Daniel Family Law, our compassionate family lawyers believe in making change a positive thing. That means helping you find a summer custody and visitation schedule that works for you, your co-parent, and most importantly, your kids.
We’ll be here to advise you on how to build and implement a separate summer plan. Call us or reach out to us online to schedule a confidential consultation.