Choosing summer camps for your children can be a stressful proposition in and of itself. If you are divorced, however, you may face a wealth of additional considerations and potential hassles. Rather than waiting until summer arrives and registration fees have already been paid, divorced parents should know how their situation could impact their child’s summer plans.
The first thing is to understand what is outlined in your Florida custody/timesharing agreement/Parenting Plan. Some Florida agreements/plans are vague when it comes to summer timesharing. Others, while specific, may conflict with one or both parents’ work schedule. Florida couples who are only separated or whose divorce is not final, may not have any guidelines in place.
Regardless of the particular situation, it is important to establish a plan for the divorce and summer activities for kids that both spouses can agree upon and work with. This plan should address a number of different factors including but not limited to:
- A summer schedule with living arrangements. Map out what camps your children will attend, when they will vacation with each parent and where they will be staying during the other times. If the arrangements/plans are laid out up-front, it will lead to less anxiousness and frustration on the part of both you and your children.
- How expenses will be covered. Decide who will cover the costs associated with your children’s summer activities, camps, trips and any Keep the financial resources of each spouse in mind when making summer plans. (It is important to note that many summer camps offer financial aid. Call to find out if yours is one of them.)
When coming up with your plan, be sure:
- You don’t involve your children. While they should have a voice in what they would like to do over the summer, don’t let them be a part of the detailed negotiations such as who pays for what.
- You remain focused on the issue at hand. Don’t let unrelated conflicts between the two of you cloud the formulation of a plan.
- It is mutually agreeable to both parties. If you find that you are unable to come to an agreement on your own, it may be wise to involve a family law
But how do the Florida courts typically treat summer camp/activities?
This depends on whether the camp/activity is considered to be in the best interest of the child and whether they are a necessity or an affordable extracurricular activity. If the camp/activity is a substitute for daycare, then the costs are considered childcare expenses and typically included in child support calculations. If you usually have no childcare costs, then the camp/activity is considered an extracurricular and is typically shared 50/50 (depending on the parties’ relative income).
Summer camp/activity issues should be addressed well before summer arrives and ideally during divorce proceedings. While some parents can agree on the specifics, others may want to enlist the help of a professional family law mediator to ensure that their child’s summers will be ones to remember for good reasons.
Board Certified Marital and Florida Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.