What Happens When Co-Parents Disagree About Summer Camp?
Co-Parenting Issues Attorney Serving Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
The closing of schools this year caused family routines to be radically changed. As businesses and events begin again, summer camp is a welcomed change from the cooped-up months behind us. Some co-parents disagree about whether or not summer day camp is a good idea due to heightened COVID-19 concerns, sending a child to camp for any length of time right now may seem like an unnecessary risk.
As always when disagreements occur, it is best to keep a cool head and work things out in as friendly a manner as possible. Decisions can be made based on the type of custody you and your co-parent have. Read on to find information about your parental rights and your co-parenting options when making this decision as well as what we can do at The Montanari Law Group to help you.
What can I do when I have legal custody?
As the legal custodian, you make the choices for the child regarding activities such as attending day camp. If one co-parent has sole legal custody, that parent is legally entitled to make the decision about whether the child attends camp, so long as the camp does not overlap with the other parent’s time with the child. If the camp does interfere with the other parent’s time, the parent with legal custody could be obligated to provide make-up time. If no agreement can be reached on the make-up time, the parent missing out can file an application with the Court enforcing the custody agreement and holding the other parent accountable for interfering with the time.
COVID remains a big concern, and the parent with legal custody should make sure that all camp programs provide written, clear guidelines which must include the maximum number of campers, social distancing, and the state-mandated rules for hygiene and social distancing.
What about if the parents share custody?
Some divorced co-parents share legal custody, which requires even more willingness to reach a mutual decision. If one parent thinks day camp is a wonderful way to get the children out of the house and socializing again, but the other is at a full stop, a compromise must be met. Maybe meeting with camp organizers to clear up any concerns about health and safety measures is a way to reassure everyone. Practical solutions can be reached when both parties are keeping the well-being of their children in mind.
If co-parents usually share the costs of camp and one parent insists on sending the child to camp despite the other parent’s objection, another compromise is for the insistent parent to pay all of the costs. If a decision cannot be reached, the objecting parent can file an application with the Court to create an official record of this objection and the reasons as to why. Also, if the day camp interferes with the parent’s time with the children, the make-up time must be scheduled.
Are you concerned because your child has compromised immunity?
When parents disagree over their children’s health, it is important to carefully analyze the best interests of the children. Sometimes it is best to go to court with health tests and reports that provide a record of a child that is immunocompromised with evidence that the child is a too high risk to attend day camp. Mediation with the assistance of your attorney can make the process less difficult, especially when the child’s health and well being is of great interest to both parties.
To many people deciding about day camp for their children is no big deal. To parents who are in new territory, trying to work as a unit while having divorced, the task can seem overwhelming. It is just one more thing to argue about, right? But it needn’t be.
Contact our Little Falls Office Today and Let us Guide you in Co-Parenting during this difficult time
At The Montanari Law Group, have the experience and vocation to help families transition into the “new normal.” Day camps, vacations, school trips, all test co-parents’ ability to compromise and frequently help is needed.