Summertime and the Schedule Ain't Easy
In New Jersey, the vast majority of parents will share Joint Legal Custody of their children after a divorce. Legal custody involves the major decisions around the health, education, and well-being of the child. But who gets to decide the day-to-day or week-to-week calendar?
Although New Jersey also has a Parent of Primary Residence (PPR) and a Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR), which is perhaps what many think of as physical custody, the importance of that designation is becoming less and less clear as society changes. More and more families have two full-time working parents, work-from-home scenarios, and other flexible arrangements which make scheduling, especially in the summer, a tad more complex. During the school year, it is relatively easy to use the school day as the start and stop of parenting time or physical custody, but what about the summer?
Addressing the Differences in the Summertime Schedule
Your parenting time agreement needs to address summer. Here are some common factors to consider:
Will there be summer camp in lieu of school to provide for all-day child care?
There may be no bus, so how do we handle transportation?
When is the start of a parent’s time and responsibility, if not at the end of the school day?
What if grandma and grandpa are more involved in the summer?
What if one parent has the summer off from work, such as a teacher?
Even something seemingly small, but real to your child, does one parent/family have a pool making it more fun to be at that house?
The point of every parenting time agreement is to eliminate ambiguity and therefore minimize the opportunity for conflict.
The point of every parenting time agreement is to eliminate ambiguity and therefore minimize the opportunity for conflict. It is always the best interest of the child that guides the decisions made about custody and parenting time—and there may be different rules or realities in the summer. Having a discussion about a summer schedule can help everyone know what the expectations are and will better serve your child.
If you have any questions, we are here to help. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 908-237-3098.