By Marian G. Gage, B.J., LL.B., AccFM (OAFM)
It’s hard to put one’s mind to something as intangible as summer vacation when the kids are still looking forward to March Break. Meanwhile, most summer camp registration is now open and spots in the most coveted camps are filling up. It is time to put our minds to those nine (or is it 10 again this year?) school-less weeks.
For separated parents, the planning should start as soon as possible. There are a number of things to think about:
- What will the children’s residential schedule look like this summer?
- Have you accounted for long weekends? Even Canada Day falls on a Friday this year.
- Are there travel plans for the children? Will you need consent letters?
- If camp is on the horizon, which camps? Who will decide?
- What is the camp budget – YMCA or Muskoka Woods?
Parents are advised to work through these issues well in advance to avoid a last minute scramble if there is disagreement.
Going forward, set out in a parenting plan the way in which these decisions will be made from year to year. Some common provisions include agreements to book travel times by a certain date every year (with the first choice alternating from year to year if both parents prefer the same date) and setting out expectations and timelines for summer camp registration and payment.