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The Dreaded Summer Visitation and Holiday Parenting Time

Every divorce case is unique, every family is unique and every child has different needs and interests.  That may explain why so many parents dread the summer visitation schedule and holiday parenting time.  Summer and holidays are often considered outside the scope of traditional routine parenting time that tends to come during times of school structure and scheduling.  While some parents split the summer equally, for example, one week on and one week off, others opt for split week or split month schedules.  Either way, the change in routine can be a tough one for the children when they are out of the classroom (or done with at-home schooling we now know so much about) as they are starting new activities and routines for the summer, which impacts the parent’s schedule as well.  When you throw in a Holiday, like July 4th coming next weekend, parents are often adding another component to their already complex summer visitation schedule.  For example, some parents may alternate the day before or the day after the holiday while others split the actual day itself into time increments with each parent.  No matter how you handle your summer visitation or holiday parenting time schedule, most can agree that it can become quite complex and a source of conflict between the parents.

That being said, how can you alleviate the dreaded scheduling?  First and foremost, it is ideal and the most cost-effective to come to an agreement.  You want to consider establishing a set schedule along with detailing times for pick-up and drop-off.  It is a good idea to include any mutual agreements and understandings in regards to travel, itineraries, restrictions and communication methods during these times.  You want to communicate about what your individual family traditions may be or how you want them to be going forward.  You also want to keep in mind that it is a good idea to establish the hierarchy of time (ie what time “trumps” another parent’s time with the minor children) so that you know that your holiday time will supersede the summer schedule in place.  In Illinois, experienced divorce attorneys know how to navigate this field, as we have handled countless cases in mediating, negotiating, and litigating every aspect of visitation and parenting time, including the summer and holidays.  Typically, an Allocation Judgment of Parental Responsibilities will be prepared and entered by the Judge outlining the specific parenting time and decision-making authority that each parent has in Illinois.

The divorce lawyers of Ward Family Law, LLC have decades of experience in the family law field and ensure to stay on top of the legal trends, case law, and statutory changes enacted in each County and Statewide to ensure that every case that involves minor children is tailored to meet and exceed their best interests.  Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your needs.

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