While it may be easy to view your divorce as the end of your association with your ex-spouse, the truth is that the two of you will likely have to continue a relationship with each other throughout the rest of your lives (particularly if you have children together). Part of this is sitting down and coming up with a parenting plan that allows you both equitable custody and visitation time. Many of the clients that we here at the Ruben Law Firm work with in San Francisco find that agreeing on an acceptable visitation schedule during summer break can be especially difficult.
There is good reason for this; after all, summer is the ideal time to plan a family vacation. Your kids are out of school, the weather is nice, and popular vacation destinations often offer specials to entice you to visit. The state recognizes that this is a unique time in regards to your custody schedule, which is why The Judicial Branch of California specifically references a summer vacation visitation schedule in its parenting plan recommendations.
How that schedule looks is up to you. You and your ex-spouse should both consider what sort of arrangements would allow each to take an extended vacation with the kids. Some possibilities include:
- You keeping the kids for the first half of summer break, and him or her having them during the second
- Each of you being allotted a specific month of interrupted custody (e.g., him or her June, you July)
- Maintaining your current schedule with an extended two-week period allotted to both of you during the summer
Whatever you choose, remember that you cannot bar your ex-spouse from any visitation at all during periods of extended custody. More information on creating parenting plans can be found here on our site.