School vacation is a time that most children long for, yet it can be an area of concern and disagreement between divorced parents. Arizona utilizes parenting plans, which provide detailed information regarding the various issues of parenting and child care. Children’s vacation times are typically covered in these agreements. Parents are usually expected to spend time with their children in a way that is fair. Here are some tips on how to handle children’s vacations.

Parenting Plans

Parenting plans are documents that are included in divorce decrees for couples with minor children. The more detailed the plan, the better it will work for everyone. Children thrive when they follow a set schedule and routine. A good parenting plan addresses all of the major issues of legal decision-making, parenting time schedules, and other co-parenting expectations.

Summer Months

Summer months bring different schedules for children, but not necessarily for parents. The summer schedule may need to change to accommodate the child’s needs. School-age children may need child care during the summer months even if they don’t need it during the school year. Summer camps are another option to help keep children busy and stimulated during time away from school. Many children participate in sports or classes, making it an ideal time to provide swim lessons or other programs. Parents may need to make special arrangements to their own schedules to accommodate their children’s activities.  It is important to consider these issues when creating an initial or modified parenting plan and also to communicate with the other parent about expectations for what kind of programming should be used and who is to pay for it.

Travel Plans

Travel plans after a divorce need to be properly scheduled and coordinated. Parents generally are allowed to take vacations with their children as long as they fall within the parameters of the parenting plan. Minor adjustments may be necessary, and these are typically fine, as long as both parents are in agreement. If one parent wants to keep the children for a longer period of time or the vacation will not occur during the parent’s regular visitation period, modifications to the parenting plan may be necessary. It is usually also expected that parents will share itinerary information with the non-traveling parent so that the non-traveling parent knows where the children will be and how they can be reached in the event of an emergency during their time away.

Tips for Summer Vacations after Divorce

Summer vacations can be a happy time for kids, but not if the divorce causes conflict between parents that impact the kids’ ability to enjoy their “free” time. Parents need to remember that the children and their needs always come first, regardless of any other situations that may be happening. Take the time to plan and prepare for the summer schedule so that children have a variety of options. Allow time for both parents and be respectful of the other parent’s visitation time when planning outings and trips. When disagreements arise in the summer care requirements, talk to an experienced family law attorney to learn what options are available so you can decide how to best handle the situation.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How to Handle Children’s Vacations, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.