With summer vacations on the horizon, those with children in other homes and ex-spouses or partners are typically full of equal parts excitement and dread. Time to make memories with children is a blessing. Opportunities for conflict with an ex can be a disaster.

First and foremost, closely review your child custody order. You and your ex can agree to modify the order, but it’s important to really understand what the default possession schedule is.

If the Standard Possession Order is included in your order, then the rules for spring break and summer possession should be included, though they are frequently difficult to understand.

Here are some general guidelines:

The non-primary parent typically gets the kids for spring break in even-numbered years, and the primary parent has the same rights in odd-numbered years.

  1. The non-primary parent’s 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend possession continues through the summer, but the non-primary parent’s weekday possession ends when school lets out.
  2. The non-primary parent also has the right to a 30 day “extended possession” in the summer and can choose which 30 days he or she wants by April 1 of each year. If he or she doesn’t chose the 30-day period by April 1, it typically begins on July 1. This 30 days can be split into two different periods if the non-primary parent wants, but each period must be for at least 7 days.
  3. The primary parent gets the children for one weekend during the non-primary parent’s summer “extended possession,” so long as the primary parent selects that weekend by April 15.
  4. The primary parent also gets to “knock out” one of the non-primary parent’s regular summer weekends. The primary parent needs to designate this “knock out” weekend by April 15 or give 14 days’ notice.

There are many other rules to consider, like who’s responsible for the time and expense of travel. If you need help deciphering your possession schedule so that you can make travel plans without stress, please give us call at Hammerle Finley!

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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.