When parents separate, a Court Order establishes the custody schedule between the mother and father. In some cases, the schedule works well for months and years thereafter. In other situations, a party’s circumstances change, and the schedule needs to be modified.
Over the past year and half, Pennsylvania, the United States, and the world have been faced with an unprecedented pandemic that has flipped our schedules, patterns, and daily lives upside-down.
This could not be more true for many separated parents, particularly now that summer is in full swing. Separated parents have had to reassess visitation patterns, time sharing, holiday plans, and other arrangements involving their children.
Some parents have established an amicable relationship post-split and are able to work out a custody or visitation schedule on their own. Those who have the ability to work with their co-parent and come up with an arrangement on their own should consider the following to help alleviate potential hiccups during the remaining summer months.
Consider a structured schedule
Too much flexibility with schedules – even for parents on amicable terms – can result in problems. Outlining a detailed plan so that everyone knows what to expect can help provide stability for the children (especially young children) and limit confusion and stress on everyone involved.
Try alternate summer schedules
Often times, summer schedules vary from the schedules during the regular school year. Discussing and implementing a different summer schedule can help address vacation plans and the children’s needs as they grow, etc.
More contentious households
Unfortunately, not all households are on cordial terms. Some separated parents are unable to effectively communicate with each other when the need for custody and visitation modifications arise during the summer.
Individuals who need help modifying a custody schedule to incorporate a summer schedule are encouraged to seek legal representation. An experienced lawyer can not only facilitate the process of getting a modification via a court order, but he or she can advocate for your interests and those of your children.