Now that summer is here, many families go on vacations or travel long distances together. For divorced parents, making plans for summer sometimes means their child custody agreement or visitation schedule will need to be modified to accommodate their children’s needs during the summer. If you don’t want to spend your summer disputing the terms of your custody agreement with your ex-spouse, you will need to inform them about any vacation plans you have that will involve the children. Many times, one parent will want to take the kids out of state, but the other parent would rather they stay within state lines. In this blog, we give you 5 tips that can help you avoid an unpleasant custody dispute with your ex-spouse this summer.
Tip #1: Make a New Visitation Schedule
Because most children are out of school during the summer, parents often have to shift around their visitation schedules to accommodate for various activities and commitments. This means you will need to have a talk with your ex about any major summer events that will need to be accounted for in the visitation schedule. Work together on the terms of your summer custody schedule together so that both parents are aware of where the children will be at and what they will be doing during their summer vacation.
Tip #2: Stick to the Terms of Your Custody Orders
If your custody orders have geographical limitations that prevent you traveling with your children to specific locations, you will need to still need to comply with these when making your vacation plans. If you wish to deviate from the terms of your custody orders, you will need to obtain permission from the other parent or a court. Always stick to whatever terms have been set out in your child custody agreement. Failing to do so can have negative repercussions.
Tip #3: Try to Be Flexible with Your Plans
There are many events and activities that you might want to attend with your children over the summer, but it is important to remember to be flexible and willing to accommodate any changes that might arise. Communicating unforeseen events with your ex is vital if you want to amicably alter your summer visitation schedule. Because no parent wants to be overwhelmed by a sudden change in their plans, try to give your ex advance notice of anything that might affect your ability to be with your children over the summer.
Tip #4: Exchange Custody in a Neutral Location
Switching custody of your kids with your ex can be awkward sometimes, which is why it is a good idea to meet somewhere that your kids feel comfortable. If you and your former spouse tend to argue when you are in the same room, use a public location where you will be less likely to antagonize one another. Schools and day care centers usually serve as good neutral places to swap custody of your children.
Tip #5: Communication With Your Ex Is Important
Letting your kids have consistent communication with their other parent is an important if you want to have an enjoyable summer. Although your kids might be spending more time with you when they are out of school, they will still miss their other parent and occasionally ask to talk to them. Allowing your children to talk to your ex when you are on vacation can help both parents feel comfortable with their summer custody schedule.
At Malinowski Hubbard, PLLC, we are familiar with child custody disputes and all other aspects of family law. If you need help altering your custody agreement for summer, our team of Fairfax divorce lawyers are here to get started on your case. Call (703) 935-4222 to schedule your consultation with our friendly legal professionals today.