A five-step guide to summer access scheduling – Custody and parenting arrangements vary from family to family

A five-step guide to summer access scheduling – CUSTODY AND PARENTING ARRANGEMENTS VARY FROM FAMILY TO FAMILY

Two household summers can be hard, and it doesn’t have to be that way. When kids are not bound by a school schedule, they have more time to spend with their parents during the summer. Summer break typically runs from the last week of June until the last week of August. Arrangements for summer access can be made by parents however they like, so long as it meets the best interests of the child. Summer access schedules can be affected by several factors, including the children’s ages, the children’s plans for the summer, and any travel plans the parents may wish to make.

A five-step guide to summer access scheduling – Child Custody and parenting arrangements vary from family to family
A five-step guide to summer access scheduling – Child Custody and parenting arrangements vary from family to family

The availability of the non-custodial parent means that the children can spend longer periods with that parent. The flexibility of such scheduling makes it possible for parents to get the most out of the summer. In the summer, parents can, for example, agree that one parent gets a week off.

It is advisable to not leave summer access discussions with the other parent until the last minute, as this can cause unnecessary stress and conflict. Getting the custodial parent to agree to summer access is best done before summer sets in, so you have time to negotiate schedules, arrange time off work, and make travel arrangements.  Summer access can be hitch-free by implementing this five-step guide.


It is important that both parents agree on a schedule for their children in a Summer Access Agreement. This will ensure that both parties know well ahead of time when each wants the children so they can plan around it accordingly. By late spring latest, both parents should have a definitive agreement on how the children’s summer vacation will be divided. If you need to reschedule, please ensure that your ex-spouse is informed well in advance. To ensure that the child’s best interests are at the forefront, in a Summer Access Agreement, it would be possible for the parents to divide their summertime very clearly and unambiguously.


Most parents simply continue their daily routines during summer vacation since both parents are working during the summer months.  In this case, neither parent will be responsible for taking care of the children during the children’s summer vacation. Rather, the parties will agree that the children will be dropped off by one party and picked up by the other at their daycare.


If you and your co-parent are planning a summer trip, review your Summer Access Agreement to see what information both of you need to share. Be as transparent as you can with your travel plans. Treat them as you’d want to be treated. Particularly for long-distance travel, disclose travel itinerary, lodging information, and contact information.

Taking this proactive approach will help you avoid future conflicts. While on vacation, co-parents may also want to schedule phone calls or video calls in advance with the children. While the children may be too busy having fun to talk every night, a phone call once or twice a week can make a big impact on the other parent and make them more receptive to granting summer access again.


Structured environments provide children with a greater sense of security. You and your co-parent can gain some perspective by involving your children in conversations about vacations and trips during the summer. Involving the children in the planning of summer vacations allows you to give them a voice and create happy memories.


The Court doesn’t need to address scheduling conflicts relating to Summer Access, no matter how significant they are to you. Consequently, it may be a good idea to speak to an experienced Mediator or family lawyer. A mediator facilitates a discussion between the parties and helps them reach a resolution.  Ultimately, the children’s best interest should always come first. If you cannot reach a peaceful partnership with your co-parent about summer access, the app OurFamilyWizard, for example, may also be able to assist you. Also, our team of brilliant Family lawyers at Osuji and Smith can help you prepare a plan for summer access that guarantees parents and children have a wonderful and non-toxic summer together.


Custody and parenting arrangements vary from family to family. The summer can be ruined by not communicating with your ex-spouse and not treating him or her with respect. Again, treat them as you would like to be treated. Your travel itinerary should be transparent, and you should disclose all necessary information about the children. For your family’s peace of mind, it’s more important to communicate with each other respectfully and carry the children along.

Author: Lydia Iboko