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Summer Parenting, Visitation and Legal Decision Making

Summer Parenting, Visitation and Legal Decision Making

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 time period?

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 custody agreement.

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.


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