Making Child Custody Agreements Work in Summertime

In the eyes of a child, summertime stands for fun. Swimming, sleepover camp, long days, cool evenings, and vacation plans dominate their calendars. For children of divorced or separated parents, summer can be anything but fun if effective co-parenting skills fail and custody arrangements are interrupted. Those long days can become even longer when tension and disappointment fill the air.


One of the most important aspects in any child custody arrangement is a commitment to communication by both parents. When two adults can put the best interests of their child ahead of personal agendas or heated emotions, all parties benefit, especially the children. Talking together about upcoming vacation plans and family holidays in advance can accommodate everyone’s plans if both parents agree to be flexible with changes to the established custody schedules.

As school ends and summer schedules take effect, a well laid custody plan that takes into consideration the work schedules of both parents can relieve a lot of stress and unnecessary childcare expenses. Deciding which activities the children will participate in and who will be responsible for paying for them, is an essential part of the custody agreement.  One that can alleviate a lot of last minute disappointments. Including your children in the conversation on what activities will be feasible can help present an amicable team approach to the custody agreement.

As children get older, their summer plans may change from recreational activities to work or school commitments and internships. When there are multiple children to consider, negotiating the custody agreement may have to focus on which parent or location can best accommodate each of the children. Sharing summer holidays like Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July, as well as vacation availability for working children can present a challenge, but with flexibility and compromise when forming the custody agreement, both parents can establish quality time with each of their children.

An effective custody plan will also leave room for celebrations like family reunions, weddings, and out of town visits. These special occasions are very important for children to hold onto the family traditions of each parent. A large majority of children grieve the loss of established family traditions when a divorce or separation occurs. Making family celebrations a priority can help establish a sense of security and can alleviate the feelings of loss for the children.

Note to Parents: Time Share is the term Florida now uses instead of the more familiar 'custody'. You do not have to be the ‘perfect’ parent to obtain time share. The courts generally recognize that people are not perfect. As long as your children are not in some way harmed by you and you are able to provide them with suitable accommodation and a loving environment, you should technically be able to share their care and control.  To find out more, you can contact a Florida Family Lawyer here.

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