Although summer is months away (and we are experiencing another winter chill), it is time to start planning for summer. If you are divorced, now is the time to review your settlement agreement or final order in your divorce for summer holidays and summer break visitation schedules. Typically, parents need to elect their summer weeks in the spring. Here are a few things you should consider doing this month:
- Review your settlement agreement/ parenting plan/ final order for summer visitation and summer holidays. If it is unclear, contact your attorney or go talk to an attorney ASAP.
- School schedule. Go online and look at your children's school calendar. When are they released from school? When do they return to school?
- Call your family and friends and find out their summer schedule. Is your family planning a special trip this summer? Do your parents want to see their grand kids the last week in June or the second week in July? Does your sister want you to meet up with her and her kids at Disney? Do you plan on attending your high school reunion this summer? Does your new boyfriend/girlfriend want to take a couples only cruise this summer? Determine your family obligations before electing your summer vacation dates.
- Summer camps and other day care alternatives. Investigate summer camps for your kids for the weeks your kids are on vacation but you have to work. How much does the camp cost? Are you supposed to get OK from your ex before enrolling them in summer camp? Is the other parent responsible for all summer camp costs? What are the camp registration deadlines? Are your parents coming for a week to care for the children for a week?
- Passports. If you plan to travel outside the United States this summer, do your kids have their passports? Are they current? If they do not have passports, have you checked the requirements on the State Department's website? Both parents have to consent for a minor's passport.
- Communicate. Contact the other parent and discuss your plans. Make sure you provide the other parent with your elected dates for summer visitation on or before the deadline in your agreement. And if there is no deadline in your agreement, then as soon as possible.