There are very few things as thrilling for your child as a snow day. But that unexpected day off from school can cause confusion for divorced parents as they try to figure out how to handle parenting time and child custody exchanges.
On most school days, child custody exchanges occur after the school day ends. But when snow unexpectedly wipes out the school day, who keeps the kids? Since there are very few parenting plans that specifically mention snow days, they can leave parents scrambling to figure out what to do if they haven’t addressed the situation beforehand.
Should you treat the day like a holiday and follow your holiday parenting time schedule? Or should the child custody exchange take place as planned even though school is cancelled.
Usually, snow days are treated like a normal day.
If your parenting plan calls for you to drop the kids off at school and your wife picks them up once school is out, then your kids will stay with you during the snow day until the normal after-school pickup time, which is typically between 2:30 and 3:30.
Unfortunately, the snowy weather can complicate the exchange and put all parties in danger. In that case, the parent with the child needs to communicate with the other parent about the conditions and determine whether or not it is safe to make the exchange. It is crucial for both parents to deal with each other honestly in these circumstances.
You do need to make sure you address this situation with your ex-wife so you’re both prepared for this situation in advance.
If you think your divorce decree is unclear on how to handle snow days and you’re worried it could result in an argument, you can ask your court to clarify it. A motion to clarify requests the court to interpret what a provision meant when issued, according to the circumstances at the time.