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Summertime Visitation Schedules

Before school lets out for the summer, it’s a good idea for divorced parents to review their court orders setting out custody and visitation. Summer visitation will likely necessitate a change in the patterns and routines of the school year. It will help you and the other parent to plan ahead for holiday visitation, as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Imagine a scenario where the mother is the primary custodian, and the father has the child every other weekend. (Please note that there are many parenting time options, and we are only using this one as an example to highlight the challenges of the summer visitation schedule).  Typical court orders allow the father to spend Father’s Day weekend with the children. The following questions usually surface:

  • What happens if Father’s Day occurs between the father’s designated weekends?
  • Does the father now get three weekends in a row? 
  • Does the father have to swap out one of his other weekends now?

Holiday visitation does not change the schedule, nor does it supersede it. If you apply that to the situation above, the father will get three weekends in a row. The Father does not have to provide a “make-up” weekend to the Mother, nor does this anomaly force the parents to change the normal weekend rotation.  Parents who have a solid co-parenting relationship can work through these situations together and avoid conflicts.

A New Standard

In Mobile County, the previous “standard visitation” was that each parent got four consecutive weeks with the child in the summer. In addition to the complications it could create for parents, it made ones for children too. Four weeks is a long time for a young child to be away from the primary custodial parent. 

The newest “standard,” which was implemented by our local judges in 2019, is easier on the parents and the children. Each parent gets two consecutive weeks with the child on two separate occasions. The parents still get the same amount of time, but now it is merely broken up into two periods rather than one. 

Empowered Family Law, PC

At Empowered Family Law, we believe that child-focused solutions are the key to setting you and your family up for long-term success. We will work towards building a co-parenting arrangement that fits your family’s unique needs. A strong parenting plan can be the foundation of your co-parenting journey. For more information about how we can support, assist, and advise you during your divorce, contact us to set up a consultation.

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Empowered Family Law, PC

With Empowered Family Law, you get an advocate who sees difficulties as opportunities for growth and emphasizes healing and problem-solving no matter how challenging your case.

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