By Erin Brockhoff
As winter weather and resulting snow days makes dreams come true for children across the country, it raises the issue of how parenting time and child custody exchanges are handled on unexpected days off from school.
Typical child custody exchanges on normal school days usually occur after school the school day ends. But who gets the child on snow days when school is canceled on little notice?
Is it treated as a holiday and parents should follow the holiday parenting time schedule or is it just considered a normal day and the child custody exchange should take place as usual even though the kids aren’t in school that day?
In general, snow days are treated as normal days.
If your parenting time schedule does not specify an alternative time for exchange when school is not in session, then you would exchange the children at the time that school ends.
So if your parenting time plan calls for you to drop off the kids before school and your ex-wife picks up the kids after school, which is most likely 3:00 or 3:30 p.m., then you would be able to keep your children during the snow day until the normal after-school pickup time.
You must ensure this situation is properly addressed between you and your ex-wife so there is a clear understanding on how snow days work and where exchanges will take place so there is not confusion and anger.
If you feel your divorce decree is ambiguous to the snow day situation and you fear troubles could result, ask your court to clarify it. A motion to clarify asks the court to interpret what a provision meant when issued, according to the circumstances at the time.