It’s not surprising that
divorced parents have an increased number of disagreements when it comes to summer parenting
schedules. This is particularly true if the child custody arrangement
changes for the summer months. You might have questions regarding how
those changes will impact your parenting time as well as child support payments.
Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Parenting,Visitation and Legal Decision Making (Formerly Child Custody)
Q: When does the altered “summer” parenting schedule begin?
A: For most, the summer parenting schedule starts as soon as the kids are
out of school. If your kids aren’t in school yet, you could start
your summer parenting schedule on Memorial Day Weekend, a very common
time for the end of school.
Q: If one parent is designated to have the children for a lengthy time period
during the summer visitation schedule, should the other parent automatically
take the time usually allotted to their co-parenting partner during that
A: For instance, if you have full custody during the school year and your
ex has one night a week and every other weekend to visit with the kids,
but your ex has 4 consecutive weeks with the kids in the summer, should
you get to spend time with them during his 4 weeks on the one night a
week and every other weekend? This seems reasonable, but if it’s
not specifically in the custody agreement, you should sit down and talk
to your ex about the issue. Working together, you could add verbiage covering
the situation to your summer visitation schedule and include it in your
Q: Should your ex be required to take the kids to their various summer activities
on their own time?
A: This is a frequent issue. The kids are signed up for a number of different
activities, teams, clubs, etc. and when it comes time for them to spend
time with their non-custodial parent, they may refuse to take time from
their extended summer visitation to take them to their activities. The
best solution is to work with your ex to work out a compromise (as many
times as necessary). It is the prerogative of the parent in custody at
the moment whether or not they take the children to their summer activities.
Although typically, if the activity was agreed upon in advance, the child
should attend making it helpful to discuss activities and camps, etc.
with the ex before signing children up. If not, you could discuss your
situation with instructors, coaches, and camp directors to see if you
could receive a partial refund for the time the kids will not be in attendance.
Q: If the kids come to live with you for part of the summer, should you get
a break from paying child support since you’re spending more money
taking care of them while they are with you?
A: It’s seems like a logical assumption, but don’t assume you
can simply stop sending a check. Before you alter any behavior related
to your child support, contact an Arizona divorce attorney. It’s
possible that the payments were figured annually and already take your
summer time with the children into account. If you feel that the child
support needs to be revisited you have to request a modification through
the court. If you simply stop paying during the summer months, it could
easily be seen as a failure to meet your child support obligation in full.
Q: If your ex insisted that the children needed to live with him/her throughout
the school year in order to avoid disrupting their routine and therefore
their ability to perform well in school, but somehow insists that there’s
no difference in the summer, is there something you can do?
A: You can take this type of issue to court to request a parenting time modification,
but the courts tend to expect parents to handle these types of issues
without their intervention. It would be beneficial if you could try to
work out the issue informally.
If you need assistance with any summer parenting, visitation or legal decision
making power questions, contact the experienced
Arizona divorce attorneys at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.