While the summer break from school is a time that many in Federal Way look forward to, divorced parents may view it with a certain bit of trepidation. Having their kids out of school presents the opportunity to grow closer to them through an extended summer vacation. However, vacation plans can often interfere with a standard custody schedule.
If this accurately describes your situation, then you and your ex-spouse may simply turn to the courts to make as determination as to summer custody. Yet these modifications are left to both of you. How, then, can you accommodate each other’s desire to spend more time with the kids during the summer?
While state family courts will typically not rule on summer custody and visitation schedules, they may offer guidance. Take the parenting plan template offered by the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts. If offers different options on how both you and your ex-spouse can determine both when the summer break begins and ends, as well as how your custody schedule might be modified during this time.
One option is to maintain the same schedule throughout the entire year. While this establishes consistency, it may leave little room for one (or both) of you to vacation with the kids. Not having a designated time period for a vacation can leave the door open for disputes.
Another suggested option offered by the courts is to allow each of you a number of weeks of extended vacation time during the summer. This establishes a standard around which each of you can plan so that your proposed vacations do not conflict with each other. Also included in this suggestion is the proposed stipulation that you each inform the other of your plans by a certain date to allow plenty of time for planning.