Four hours and six minutes.

That’s how long it took one of my girls to start whining “I’m soooooo…. bored” after getting out of school on the last school day of the year.

I will point out that during those four hours and six minutes, we went to a pancake brunch and watched a movie she has been begging to see for a long time.

So it really only took her six minutes to get bored.

Thankfully, after a few hours of wallowing in her boredom, she remembered her massive collection/hoard of L.O.L. Surprise Dolls and was able to “unbore” herself. I’m not sure how she missed it, their accessories seem to be everywhere in our house.

Before you embark on a summer spent being your kids’ personal cruise director, here are four important legal issues you should tackle.


Before you pack up your kids and move your everyday chores (cooking, cleaning, laundry, childcare) to the beach, make sure you have a general estate plan in place. If you haven’t gotten around to doing your will, there is no time like you-are-about-to-go-out-of-town.

Your will should include a choice of guardian for your children. In Texas, you can also execute a Designation of Guardian separate from your will. So if you are really pressed for time, at least execute a Designation of Guardian.

Is your spouse planning on taking your kids on a trip without you this summer? Make sure your spouse has the proper documentation to travel alone with your kids before he leaves. For more information on what that list might include, check out Required Documents for Children Traveling With One Parent.

Summer Camps

I swear the documentation you need to fill out for summer camps gets longer and longer every year.

Blame the lawyers.

You might be tempted to just skim over the legalese. Don’t. Take the time to read the contract carefully, in particular, the cancellation policy (always assume the camp will enforce it no matter how legitimate your cancellation reason is) and the liability waiver and release (it could prevent you from suing the camp in the event something goes wrong and your child is injured).

For more information on how you should parse through summer camp applications, check out Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! Legal Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe at Summer Camp.

Babysitters and Nannies

Hiring a babysitter or nanny to help out with the kids this summer? In addition to checking references and doing both a criminal and civil judgement background check, take the time to write a contract spelling out what his or her responsibilities will be and payments. You want your kids walking around art museums instead of the mall? Discuss that with your babysitter or nanny and put it in writing.

And while you are writing, don’t forget to let your accountant know that you have hired a nanny or babysitter so he can advise you on how to pay them properly for tax purposes.

Pool Party

Do the neighborhood kids flock to your backyard pool the minute school is out for the summer? Make sure you have taken steps to protect children and others from being injured or accidentally drowning in your pool and have adequate insurance coverage for the financial and legal risks you have as a pool owner. For more information on what you should do, check out Ask the Law Mother: Should I Have Guests Who Use My Pool Sign a Liability Waiver and Release?.

If there was a summer camp just for moms, what would the activities be? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Disclaimer: This website is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.