For your child, summer is likely the best time of the year. With no school and more sunshine and free time, your child is probably bursting at the seams to start enjoying their break. However, you may not be as excited since your normal co-parenting schedule may be changing during the summer. Child visitation and possession schedules are determined by the Court in the signed Court Order on a case-by-case basis. The following statements reflect the standard summer visitation schedule by the Texas Family Code.
Standard Child Custody Holiday Schedules & Summer Vacation in Texas
Texas law outlines clear guidelines concerning child custody holiday schedules. As it relates to summer break, a non-custodial parent will be given 30 days over the summer break to spend with their child. This time can increase to 42 days if the non-custodial parent lives over 100 miles away. However, you and the other parent can work out a different schedule and negotiate another time-sharing arrangement.
Tips for Co-Parenting During the Summer
While the rest of your year may be more routine, the summertime may be messier or less predictable as it relates to your schedule and plans. Here are some tips to make the most of your summer given your co-parenting situation.
- Prioritize your child and their needs. Remember how much you loved summer vacation as a child? To ensure your child enjoys their summer break, prioritize their needs more than what you want.
- Be flexible. Sometimes things won’t go as planned; a pickup or exchange may happen late, or you may have to get your child from daycare when it wasn’t your day. Be patient and flexible.
- Consider your child’s age. Another reason to remain flexible is that your child’s age can affect your plans. As they grow up, they may want more freedom or have plans of their own.
- Review your agreement and plan. Your custody agreement already includes which parent gets the kids during certain holidays, including summer vacation. Review your agreement so that you can accurately plan for the days that you get to spend time with your kids.
- Ask your child what they want. If you have older kids, they may have detailed plans or hopes for the summer like getting a job, going camping with their friends, or attending summer school. Kids of any age also may want to see their friends or go to a summer camp that their friends are attending. By involving them by asking their opinion, you and your co-parent may get a better idea of what you want to do this summer.
- Set a good example. Your children often look to you as an example of how to respond to people and events. Even if you get frustrated by the other party, avoid disparaging them in front of your kids.
- Touch base often. If you have separate summer vacation plans, you should consider touching base with one another or having the kids call the parent who is not in attendance with updates. Constant communication, especially when your kids are far away, can alleviate some of your worries and show your children that you want them to spend time with their other parent. If you have issues communicating with one another, co-parenting apps (like Our Family Wizard, 2Houses, and Coparently) can help foster healthier communication between co-parents.
- Discuss travel plans. If you are planning to travel with your kids, discuss your plans with the other parent. In some cases, both parents may want to share an experience with their child, such as trips to Disney World or abroad. Your co-parent also may not appreciate being surprised with a trip or may feel like you are trying to “one-up”. To avoid feelings of resentment or competition, you may consider setting a spending limit.
- Budget. Another great feature of many co-parenting apps is that you can include expenses and share information about your budget. If your child is attending a summer camp or going to daycare, you may have to share those costs as well as the cost of other summer-related expenses.
Comprehensive Divorce Services
At J. Roland Jeter, P.C., our attorney has over 40 years of experience and is dedicated to helping families move forward and navigate their family law matters. Attorney Jeter can help with a variety of child custody matters, including:
- Filing for custody and fighting for your parental rights
- Filing to modify existing custody agreements
- Navigating child custody during divorce or separation cases
To schedule a case consultation, telephone (972) 330-4050 or complete our online contact form.