Summer Vacation and Florida Time-Sharing Schedules
As summer approaches and parents plan for their kids being home during a long break, it is important to think about your time-sharing schedule. For many parents, the coronavirus pandemic will mean that certain summer activities in which your child normally participates will not be happening as scheduled. For example, certain types of summer camps are not planning normal operations, and extracurricular courses that would have kids inside together in large groups likely will not be able to operate as planned prior to the pandemic. In such cases, parents may want to modify the existing time-sharing schedule for this summer.
We will say more about time-sharing over the summer more generally, and then will discuss options for modifying this year’s summer time-sharing schedule.
Summer Break Schedule in Your Parenting Plan
Whether you are in the early stages of a divorce or recently had your divorced finalized, if you have minor children from your marriage, you should know that every divorce case will require a Parenting Plan when there is time-sharing. Indeed, the Florida Supreme Court requires a parenting plan to provide a detailed time-sharing schedule. In many family situations, the parents develop and agree upon the Parenting Plan together, and then it gets approved by the court. In scenarios where the parents cannot reach an agreement, there is still a Parenting Plan with a time-sharing schedule, but the court will establish it for the parents. Even in situations where one parent can only have supervised time-sharing, a Supervised or Safety Focused Parenting Plan will exist.
Florida requires a Parenting Plan to have a time-sharing schedule for “Summer Break.” Even if parents decide that their regular or usual time-sharing schedule will apply to holidays including summer vacation, the Parenting Plan still must have a provision that clarifies how the parents will handle this extended time away from school. Generally speaking, Summer Break time-sharing will include one of the following:
- Parents will follow the regular schedule throughout the Summer Break;
- One parent (named in the parenting plan) will have the child for the entire Summer Break from the date that school ends to a particular date before school begins again;
- Parents will equally divide the Summer Break based on odd-numbered and even-numbered years, with one parent having the child for the entire Summer Break;
- Parents will equally divide the Summer Break each year, with one parent having the child for the first half of Summer Break and the other parent having the child for the second half of Summer Break; or
- Other time-sharing arrangements to which the parents agree and the court approves, or which the court establishes to be in the best interest of the child.
Modifying This Year’s Time-Sharing Arrangement
If the pandemic and extracurricular closures mean that one or both parents cannot abide by the existing Summer Break time-sharing arrangement in their parenting plan, it may be possible to seek a modification. Generally speaking, a Parenting Plan can only be modified by the court upon a substantial change in circumstances. However, if the parents agree to a modification—including a temporary one—they can work with their attorneys to create an agreement that can be filed with the court.
Contact an Orlando Time-Sharing Lawyer
Do you need help with your Parenting Plan or making a Summer Break modification? An experienced Orlando child custody & timesharing attorney can assist you. Contact Anderson & Ferrin to learn more.