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Summer holiday woes: Handling the end of a school year

When your children are in school, it may be much easier to have them on a custody schedule. You know that they’ll be at school for a certain number of hours, so you can work or take care of other responsibilities then. You know which days work well for you and which work best for your ex, too, so you can always get the time you both need to focus on responsibilities while your child is with the other parent.

Summer break tends to throw this plan into disarray, because children are suddenly home for several months with no time away. You may have to change your entire custody schedule or adapt your personal work schedule to make things easier, and that’s frustrating for you, your child and your ex-spouse.

Figuring out a summer custody schedule

To make things a little easier for yourself and your ex, one of the things you should do is plan for the summer break long before it occurs. A month or two before it happens, it’s valuable to go over last year’s custody schedule (if you had one) or this year’s possibilities.

For example, if you work part-time, you may need time away from home Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. That gives you around 30 hours of work a week and gets you home for afternoons and dinners.

The other parent may work a normal 9-to-5 job as well, though. What do you do, then, during the several hours where neither of you are home?

Some options may include:

  • Arranging for your child to stay with family until you or your ex are home from work
  • Bringing in a babysitter
  • Turning to daycares for support
  • Allowing your child to stay home alone (if they are old enough)
  • Talking to your employer about care programs offered there
  • Asking to work remotely through the summer

These and other options may help you develop a plan for your child’s care throughout the summer. Though this can be tricky for many parents, it is possible to help your child stay safe while also maintaining your responsibilities.