There is often a big difference between custody and visitation arrangements in the summer and those during the school year. During the summer, the kids are not in school and many families take vacations. These custody and visitation arrangements, therefore, often allow the children to have extended time with each parent. For example, each parent may have a two-week period with the children during which that parent can take the children on vacation or just have quality time together as a family at home. For parents who live in different cities, summer is a good time for the children to spent substantial time with the noncustodial parent, since the more rigid school schedule may not allow the children to travel to see that parent very often.
During the school year, naturally, there must be a different custody and visitation arrangement to allow the children to see both parents while also meeting the demands of the school year. In addition to school schedules and obligations, children often have extracurricular activities to which they must be driven or that a parent must attend. Often, the noncustodial parent will have the children every other weekend and one night during the week. This offers consistency to the children, while allowing them time with each parent during the school year.
It is important that you consult your Final Divorce Decree or Settlement Agreement to make sure you are clear about when the children will be in your custody. A good time to pull this document out is at the beginning of the summer and the beginning of the school year as these are the times that the custody and visitation arrangements often change from what everyone has gotten used to.
If you find that the original custody and visitation arrangement is not working as well as the children grow older and their schedules change, you can always file a Petition for Modification.Hopefully, you and your ex-spouse can work together to come up with a new schedule that works for everyone. If you are unable to work together, you would be best served consulting with an experienced family law attorney to help you through the negotiation.