Parenting Tips

Summer Parenting Plans: What You Should Know

Whether parents remain amicable or go through a contentious separation or divorce, a thoughtful parenting plan is essential to sharing children. While many parents fall into an easy routine of handoffs during the school year, the carefree summer months can throw a wrench into an already established child custody plan.

Before kids are dismissed for summer break, parents should discuss any potential adjustments to their plan for shared parenting time. Below are a few key considerations when developing a summer-specific plan that works for everyone involved.

Understanding Summer Parenting Plans

Although separated parents must follow their court-ordered parenting plan, the summer months may require some flexibility so that kids can enjoy trips to extended family or explore new places with one parent or the other. Of course, you might not want to give up scheduled time with your children, but you don’t want to deny them the opportunity to enjoy those exciting experiences either. 

The best option for many families is to preserve the structure of the original agreement as much as possible while also allowing for variations on a case-by-case basis. Offsets built-in ensure that each parent gets their fair share of time with their kids.

Key Considerations for Summer Planning

As with any parenting plan, be it permanent or temporary, the needs and best interests of the children involved should be the top priority when scheduling a summer parenting plan. If kids are looking forward to summer camp or scheduled activities with their friends, you obviously don’t force them to go on a trip just because it works for you or the other parent’s schedule.

Nevertheless, parental schedules are also a consideration. Balancing work and personal schedules can mean making accommodations, but when both parents are invested in negotiating, everyone can benefit from provisional modifications to the schedule.

Legal Aspects of Summer Parenting Plans

The law requires parents to comply with their agreed-upon (and court-approved) parenting plan. That is why it is so important for parents to discuss modifications related to summer travel or similar activities.

Both parents must agree on changes and (ideally) sign something that notes these changes. Doing so is especially important if a planned vacation or family visit will take place on a holiday or if out-of-state travel is involved. You don’t have to submit modifications to the court, but for legal purposes, it’s wise to have any changes available in writing.

Common Challenges and Solutions

If parents have conflicting schedules regarding travel plans, compromise is the key to finding solutions that work for everyone. If both parents want to plan major trips but their calendars don’t align, the best route may be to prepare for an offset the following summer so kids can go on both trips in due time.

Another option that works for some parents is a joint family vacation, wherein both parents, shared children, and other members of each household (new spouses, half/step-siblings, etc.) go on a trip together. 

You’ll also want to discuss the possibility of emergencies, including what you might do if a child suffers illness or injury and can’t go on a planned trip.

Communication Strategies

Tempers can flare when scheduling conflicts arise. Early planning, regular communication, and a commitment to flexibility can help parents avoid frustrating and confusing scenarios like double-booked trips. One easy way to keep everyone on the same page is with a shared calendar app, which you’ll use to manage your parenting time and schedule any modifications to your plan.

Implementing the Plan

Children generally thrive in stable environments, so if they tend to stress about changes, parents can help to prepare them by discussing summer travel plans and schedule modifications well in advance. Remain open to adjustments if changes are causing undue upheaval and stress for kids. Additionally, it’s best to work toward returning to a regular schedule a few weeks before school starts so children can ease back into their normal routine.

Be Proactive and Flexible

Creating an effective summer parenting plan is easier when you start early, communicate frequently, and try to remain flexible. Parents may not get everything they want, but a fair arrangement can help minimize stress so everyone has an enjoyable summer.


Hi! I, Sakshi Gupta, is an enthusiast Blogger who loves to write informational piece of contents based on extensive research. Also, I focus on providing valuable information to my readers through my blog To connect with me Mail us at OR Whatsapp at +919717462927.

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