Summer Camp and Visitation

Four young women and a kayak in a lake.Summer is a time when your family and your children can create lasting memories. Taking road trips, going camping, playing baseball, and exploring favorite hobbies are just a few things that are part of the quintessential summer experience. Attending summer camp is also often part of a positive summer experience for children. After a divorce or child custody case, there will likely be an order that apportions parenting time for all times during the year, including summer. If you have been through a child custody or divorce case involving children, you need to have an understanding as to how the order impacts your child’s summer camp plans.

As with most parenting time questions, the first thing you need to do if you do not know how visitation interacts with your summer camp plans is to read your order. The child custody order will make a specific determination as to how the child will spend his or her time, and it is not unusual for the schedule to be somewhat modified during summer, as well as provide blocks of time for parents to take a summer vacation with the child. As with other times of year, the parent who is exercising parenting time with the child is the one who makes the daily decisions for that child during that time. In other words, during your parenting time, you are the one who makes the decisions about your child’s summer camp. Conversely, the other parent makes the summer camp decisions for the time he or she exercises parenting time.

This reality can pose specific problems during the summer. For example, consider what could happen if you and the other parent exchange the children every other week in the summer.  If your child wants to attend a camp that is two weeks long, the other parent is not obligated to take the child to that camp during his or her week with the child. This is true even if you have already signed the child up and paid the fees associated with it. In the optimal situation, you and the other parent will be able to talk through the different options and agree on which camps your child should attend.  If that is not possible, you may have to return to mediation or even seek a modification of your current court order.

We have extensive experience helping our clients understand the rights and responsibilities under child custody orders. Call us today at (651) 371-9117 and let us help you.