Talking about summer parenting schedules early, being prepared for the end of the school year

If you know or believe there is going to be a schedule conflict, it is important to address the conflict early. There are several different options and schedule combinations that can satisfy everyone?s schedule concerns.

Before I know it the end of the school year will be upon us and summer visitation and vacation schedules will take effect. This Easter weekend might be a good time to talk to your child’s other parent to determine if everything will be the same as expected or if some time with the child needs to be adjusted. There are several reasons the previously set schedule will not work this coming summer. Whether there be a job change, a move or a different summer activity of a child, as co-parents, the schedule changes can be settled by simple agreement or it can get more complex. For minor deviations from the schedule, if everyone agrees, there might be no need to change the parenting plan. If, however the circumstances are significantly different on a permanent basis, that custody order can be modified and an updated with the court.

Texas courts use the Texas Custody and Visitation Schedule Guidelines in custody determinations

At the outset of negotiating a parenting plan, parents are encouraged to create a schedule that works for everyone. In the event parents do not agree or do not want to create a custom parenting plan, the court uses the standard possession and access order for children aged three and older. The standard order gives the possessor conservator, otherwise referred to as the non-custodial parent, 30 days with the child during summer vacation. The primary parent, managing conservator, gets the child one weekend during the 30-day period.

There are several different options and schedule combinations that can satisfy everyone’s schedule concerns. The input of an experienced attorney who knows how the various schedule options may work is valuable to parents with complex schedule demands. Sometimes the best option is something neither parent had considered.

Talking to the other parent and finding out if there is a need to change the summer parenting plan.

Approaching the other parent about summer schedules may be as casual as a quick conversation at pick up or drop off, or may be formally discussed by email or attorney, if one is retained at the time. If you know or believe there is going to be a schedule conflict, it is important to address the conflict early. In some instances, the other parent may be hesitant or non-committal with information about the summer schedule. Where former spouses do not get along, this is an opportunity for passive aggressive behavior.

If you know your ex-spouse is ready for battle at any suggestion of a modified summer schedule it may be necessary to file a petition with the court to determine the proper summer schedule given the circumstances. The earlier parents bring scheduling problems to the court’s attention, the more likely it is that a determination can be made in time.

For further information about modifying your summer possession and access schedule contact Scroggins Law Group to discuss what your options may be.

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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.

**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)

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