SUMMERTIME, AND THE POSSESSION SCHEDULE BECAME A LOT MORE COMPLICATED
Summertime – every family lawyer’s favorite time of year. As the baseball players are out there fielding balls, we are out there fielding calls (groans permitted).
“He gets how much time?”
“What do you mean I didn’t designate in time?”
“So, I don’t get Thursday nights anymore?”
“This is not fair!”
“This is not good for the kids!”
And, the best of all: “How can I change it?”
Before entering in to arguments with the other parent, take a look at your divorce paperwork. It is a road map to your child’s time with you. It should, clearly and cleanly, set out what time your child gets to enjoy with each parent. Make sure to keep educated and always speak with an attorney in the event of disagreement or misunderstanding with the other parent.
For parents working under a standard possession schedule and who live within 100 miles of the other parent, the following is a snapshot of the summer time schedule. Always be sure to consult with an attorney with questions as to your specific orders:
Extended period of possession for the non-primary parent
– Thirty days, to be elected by April 1 of that year. This period of time can be divided in to two periods of possession with each period being no less than 7 days long.
– If you do not timely elect, your period of possession starts July 1 and ends on July 31.
Weekends and Thursdays for the non-primary parent
– Each weekend commencing at 6 pm on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Friday and ending at 6pm on the Sunday.
– Thursday periods of possession go away during the summer.
“Stolen weekends” for the primary parent
– The primary parent may visit with the children during one weekend in the 30 day period allotted to the non-primary parent, regardless of whether that is broken up in to two periods of time or exercised in one lump. The primary parent must choose this weekend by April 15.
– Additionally, the primary parent may “steal” one of the non-primary parent’s normal weekend periods of possession – effectively giving the primary parent possession of the child for up to 21 days in a row. The primary parent must elect this period of time by April 15 or, failing that, must give 14 days notice of the election.
Remember, your child’s needs will rarely fit neatly in to the possession schedule. Football camps, stay away camps, grandparent visits, theater camps, and many other activities will not always square away with your schedule. Your possession schedule is – typically – just there in the event you cannot agree with the other parent. You should do your best to work with one another to meet your child’s needs, not your own. Where that cannot and does not happen, reach out to the family law attorneys at Hanshaw Kennedy Hafen for trusted and reliable legal advice.