Summer Break and Child Custody in New Jersey

My children are on summer break from school, and I would like to take them on vacation. May I do so?

Due to work, summer camp, vacation, and other obligations, a child’s schedule can vary wildly during the summer. Since it is common for parents to disagree about summertime custody and parenting time  schedules, all divorced or separated parents in New Jersey should have a clearly defined summertime child custody and parenting time arrangement. Such an agreement may be formal or informal, depending on the needs of the parties.

Normally, a family switches to a summer custody schedule when the school year ends. Others choose to wait until Memorial Day or the first day of summer. Regardless, a variety of tools from simple written calendars to smartphone apps can help separated or divorced parents stay abreast of a child’s often changing summer schedule. Even if summer activities do not have a direct effect on parenting time, it may be helpful for parents to communicate with each other in order to stay informed or ensure that particularly active weeks are followed by more low-key events.

Similarly, it is especially important for divorced or separated parents to coordinate child drop off and pick up times during the summer. Since schedules typically vary from the routine of the school year, it is vital that neither parent drop the ball with regard to child custody transfers. Online calendaring systems, emails, text messages, and other tools are available to help parents ensure a child’s summertime transition goes smoothly.

Often, summer break allows a child to spend additional time with a parent who lives far away or who does not share custody equally. If your New Jersey parenting plan requires such an extended visit, it is imperative that each parent maintain a copy of vital records like insurance cards, immunization records, and enough prescription medication to last the entire visit. In addition, the other parent should be kept informed regarding any vacations or trips that a child may engage in during a lengthy visit.

Divorced or separated parents should remember that schedule changes may be especially difficult for their children over the summer break. Kids may resent changing their daily habits, feel sorry to be missing out on the activities their friends are engaged in, or feel disloyal for wanting to spend additional time with their other parent. Because of this, separated or divorced parents are advised to remain cognizant of the myriad emotions that the summer break may cause for their children. In most cases, parents can reach a compromise that is based on the best interests of each child.

For quality representation and helpful answers regarding your family law questions, do not hesitate to call the experienced New Jersey family lawyers at Goldstein Law Group today at 732-967-6777 or contact our knowledgeable attorneys through our website.

More Blog Posts:

The Use of Medical and Mental Health Records in a New Jersey Child Custody Case, June 28, 2015, New Jersey Divorce Lawyers Blog

Understanding Your Rights Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, June 27, 2015, New Jersey Divorce Lawyers Blog


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