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Tips for Handling Parenting Time and Custody Schedules Over Summer Vacation

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Child Custody and Planning for Summer Vacation-How a Legal Paraprofessional Can Help

Navigating child custody and parenting time during summer break can be challenging for many families.

As the summer months approach, parents often face the task of coordinating schedules that ensure the best interests of their children while accommodating each parent’s time.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 20 million children in the United States live with one parent while the other parent lives elsewhere, making effective summer custody arrangements crucial for many families.

At De Novo Law, we understand the complexities involved in these arrangements and are here to help. Contact a Legal Paraprofessional today for personalized assistance with your summer parenting plan.

We will cover the following topics

Summer Vacation and Child Custody: 8 Tips for Parenting Time

Managing child custody during the summer can be tricky, but with careful planning and communication, it can be a rewarding time for both parents and children.

Here are eight tips to help you navigate summer parenting time:

  • Plan Early: Discuss summer schedules well in advance to allow both parents to make necessary arrangements.
  • Be Flexible: Understand that plans may need to change and be open to negotiation.
  • Prioritize the Child’s Interests: Focus on what is best for them, considering their activities, interests, and comfort.
  • Communicate Openly: Maintain clear and respectful communication with your co-parent to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Document Agreements: Write all agreed-upon plans to ensure clarity and avoid disputes later.
  • Consider Travel Plans: Discuss potential plans and how they might impact the custody schedule.
  • Account for Special Events: Be aware of any special events or holidays that may require adjustments to the schedule.
  • Seek Legal Advice if Needed: Consult a family law Legal Paraprofessional if you encounter any disputes or legal concerns.

By following these tips, you can create a summer schedule that works for everyone involved and ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience for your child.

Common Summer Visitation Schedules

Families in Arizona utilize several summer visitation schedules to manage parenting time effectively.

The schedule choice often depends on the children’s and parents’ needs and preferences.

What is the Most Popular Schedule for Child Custody in Arizona?

In Arizona, one of the most popular summer visitation schedules is the “week-on, week-off” arrangement.

This schedule allows each parent to have the child for alternating weeks, providing extended periods of quality time. This arrangement helps balance the time children spend with each parent and minimizes transitions, which can be especially beneficial during the summer when school is out.

Another common schedule is the “two weeks on, two weeks off” plan, which gives each parent two consecutive weeks with the child.

This longer period can be ideal for planning vacations or special activities, allowing children to enjoy uninterrupted time with each parent.

Which Types of Custody Arrangements Tend to be Best for Children?

The best custody arrangements prioritize the child’s stability, comfort, and needs.

Joint physical custody, where the child spends significant time with both parents, is often beneficial as it promotes strong relationships with both parents.

Consistency and routine are key in these arrangements, providing children with a sense of security.

Parents should consider the child’s age, temperament, and special needs when determining the best arrangement. 

Collaborative co-parenting, where parents communicate and cooperate effectively, produces more positive outcomes for children.

Do Parents Who Live Far Away From Each Other Impact What The Ideal Summer Custody Schedule Should Be?

The distance between parents’ residences significantly impacts the ideal summer custody schedule.

When parents live far apart, longer blocks of parenting time, such as month-long visits, can reduce the stress of frequent long-distance travel for the child.

This approach allows the child to settle into a routine and spend substantial time with each parent.

In these cases, it’s essential to plan ahead and consider the child’s travel needs and any logistical challenges.

Parents should also discuss maintaining communication and involvement with the non-custodial parent during extended stays.

How Summer Parenting Plans Can Change Based on Age

Children of different ages have varying needs and abilities to handle changes in routine.

Therefore, summer parenting plans should be tailored to the age and developmental stage of the child.

Infants & Toddlers

For infants and toddlers, maintaining a consistent routine is crucial.

Frequent, shorter visits are recommended to help young children feel secure and maintain strong attachments to both parents.

 During the summer, this might mean maintaining the regular visitation schedule with slight adjustments to accommodate any special plans or activities.

Key considerations are consistency in caregiving and minimal disruption to their routine. Parents should communicate about nap times, feeding schedules, and other essential aspects of care.

School-Aged Children

School-aged children can handle longer visits and may benefit from more extended time with each parent during the summer.

Week-on, week-off schedules or two-week blocks are common and allow children to enjoy different activities with each parent.

It’s also important to consider any summer camps, extracurricular activities, or special events the child may want to attend.

Parents should collaborate on creating a summer schedule that balances fun activities, family time, and any educational opportunities that might be available during the break.


Teenagers often have their own preferences and schedules, including social activities, summer jobs, and college preparation.

Flexibility is essential when planning summer custody arrangements for teens.

Parents should involve their teenage children in planning to accommodate their preferences and commitments.

A month-on, month-off schedule or a flexible arrangement that considers the teen’s activities and interests can work well.

Open communication and respect for the teen’s growing independence are crucial.

Can My Ex Stop Me From Taking My Child On Vacation?

If you share joint legal custody in Arizona, you generally have the right to take your child on vacation during your designated parenting time.

However, your ex can raise objections if the proposed vacation poses a significant risk to the child’s safety or well-being or if it interferes with their scheduled parenting time.

To avoid conflicts, provide your ex with detailed information about the vacation, including travel dates, destinations, and contact information. If your custody agreement includes specific provisions about travel, be sure to follow those guidelines.

Consider seeking mediation or legal advice to resolve the issue amicably if disagreements arise.

Do I Need Permission From My Ex to Travel With My Child?

Whether you need permission from your ex to travel with your child depends on the terms of your custody agreement and the nature of the travel.

Arizona courts typically require that both parents consent for international travel, and you may need to provide a notarized travel consent form.

 Domestic travel usually does not require explicit permission if it falls within your scheduled parenting time, but it is courteous and often recommended to inform your ex of your plans.

Ensure you check your custody agreement for any specific travel-related clauses.

If your ex unreasonably withholds consent, you may need to seek a court order to allow the travel.

Stephanie Villalobos, LP

Contact a Legal Paraprofessional from De Novo Law Today

Summer vacation presents a unique opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children, but it also requires careful planning and communication to ensure smooth transitions and happy experiences.

Parents can create effective summer custody arrangements by understanding the legal aspects and considering the child’s best interests.

For assistance with your custody plans or any family law matters contact De Novo Law for expert guidance and support.

For more information about our services or to schedule a consultation, you can also reach us directly at (480) 725-2200 .

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.  De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held.  The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.


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