If you co-parent with your ex and you already have a parenting plan in place, chances are that you have some sense of what your summer schedule is going to look like. However, that is not a forgone conclusion. Perhaps your parenting plan simply states that you’ll need to agree on your arrangements by a certain date. Maybe you feel the need to modify your parenting plan due to your child’s evolving needs. You may not have a parenting plan in place yet.
If any of these scenarios apply to your situation – or you otherwise are unsure of what your co-parenting schedule will look like this summer – the time to start making plans is now. If you don’t start planning well in advance, you and your ex could face tensions, expenses and other challenges that could have been avoided had you simply made your plans earlier.
Some arrangements worth considering
If you and your co-parent can reach a mutually beneficial agreement without a judge’s intervention, the court will likely approve of whatever you decide, provided that your approach reflects your child’s best interests. With that said, if you’re unsure of where to start, it can help to consider some examples of schedules that have worked for other families.
When distance is a considerable factor in a co-parenting arrangement, families may determine that it is best for everyone if a child spends either the entire summer with one of their parents or part of the summer with one and part with the other. The duration of these time periods can be impacted by any number of factors, as long as the scenario only involves one custody exchange at some point during the season.
Co-parents who neither live particularly near nor far from one another may find that alternating weeks or periods of every two weeks work better for their needs.
Finally, co-parents who live close and who can handle frequent custody exchanges may benefit from a 2-2-3 arrangement, wherein one week, Parent One takes the child for two days, followed by two days with Parent Two, then three days with Parent One. The following week, the first two and last three days could be spent with Parent Two and the middle two days with Parent One, or the original schedule could remain consistent.
It’s important to keep in mind that what works for one family may or may not work for another. Keep your own family’s unique interests in mind, and you’ll be more likely to find a solution that will reflect your child’s best interests as well as your own and your co-parent’s.