Adapting Your Parenting Plan For Summer Vacation

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Summer vacation is right around the corner. If this is the first summer since your divorce, transitioning from the academic year to summer vacation with a parenting plan can be awkward for you and your children. How awkward it is depends on whether you already have a summer parenting plan in place and your ability to communicate effectively with your former spouse. If you need legal guidance regarding your summer parenting plan or vacation plans, speak with an experienced family lawyer.

If you have an Existing Summer Parenting Plan, Follow It

Many families choose to include specific summer plans in their parenting plans. Often, the child spends more days with his or her non-custodial parent during the summer because he or she does not have to keep to a school schedule. Some families choose to switch to an alternating week plan for summer vacation. If your child has a recurring commitment, like summer camp or time with his or her grandparents each summer, you can include this in your summer parenting plan.

If you do not have a summer parenting plan in place, talk to your former spouse about modifying your current plan to accommodate your child’s summer vacation. Even if you informally agree to stick to a schedule other than the one written into your parenting plan, it is in every party’s best interest to formally modify the plan to include a specific summer schedule. By doing this, you have a record of your agreement to an altered plan and if your former spouse tries to deviate from it or accuse you of intentionally deviating from established legal parenting plan, you have proof that you both consented to the modification.

Be Flexible and Communicate

In Florida, parents typically do not have to get permission from each other to take their child out of the state for short-term trips. An exception to this is if you specified in your parenting plan that you need permission to leave the state with your child. Even if you did not include this requirement in your parenting plan, it is courteous to notify your former partner about your trip before you take your child out of state.

Beyond establishing a summer parenting schedule, be willing to be flexible about the days and hours your child spends with his or her other parent this summer. During summer vacation, routine goes out the window and children learn outside the classroom, making memories playing outside and on family vacations. If you anticipate having to delay a drop-off with your former spouse, communicate it to him or her ahead of time. Considerate co-parenting is effective co-parenting.

Work with an Experienced Tampa Family Lawyer

If you need to develop, modify, or enforce a parenting plan, work with an experienced Tampa family lawyer who can help you determine the most effective strategy for accomplishing your goal. Contact our team at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office to learn more about Florida parenting plans.

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