Modifying Your Parenting Plan for Summer Vacation

Child Custody
Modifying Your Parenting Plan for Summer Vacation

July 24, 2018

When school is out for summer, a child’s world opens up. Late nights around the campfire, long days with friends and no strict structure, and vacations out of Indiana or even out of the country create memories that stay with children for life and teach them lessons and skills they cannot learn in the classroom. If your parenting plan does not include specific guidelines for summer vacation, seek a modification to facilitate summer fun and enrichment. Do this even if you and your former spouse agree on a different schedule and rules for summer; without an official court order, deviating from your established parenting plan is contempt of court and can have consequences for you if your former spouse decides later that he or she does not want to continue your informal summer schedule.

Parenting Plan Changes for Summer Fun and Enrichment

Many parents specifically include summer vacation information in the parenting plans they create at the time of their divorce. This information typically specifies the child’s summer vacation parenting schedule and the dates between which the summer schedule is in effect. It may also include different summertime curfews and specific time allocations for summer camp and other activities.

If you did not include a specific summer schedule in your parenting plan, you can modify it to include one. If you and your spouse agree to a change, you can easily submit your new plan to the court that handled your original parenting plan. Otherwise, you will have to demonstrate to the court that the modification is in your child’s best interest. Potential points to cite include:

  • Your job schedule makes it easier for you to spend time with your children on summer days when they are out of school, lessening your need to rely on childcare;
  • Spending more time together during the summer will strengthen your relationship with your child;
  • Spending time together in the summer will expose your child to enriching activities like helping on your farm or going fishing and camping with you; and
  • The altered parenting plan will enable your child to participate in academically enriching activities like summer tutoring and specialized day camps.

Planning for Family Vacations this Summer

Under the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, when parents have joint custody, they must notify each other before taking their child out of state. Your former spouse cannot prevent you from taking your child out of Indiana during your time with the child, but he or she must have at least one of the following pieces of information about your trip:

  • Travel dates;
  • An itinerary of where you will be and how you can be reached; or
  • Contact information for a third party who can reach you or your child.

Work with an Experienced Fort Wayne Family Lawyer

To learn more about Indiana parenting plans and how you can alter yours for the summer, schedule your initial legal consultation with our team of experienced family lawyers at The Bellinger Law Office today.

Guidance for Families


Meet Attorney

Robert H. Bellinger



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