On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Vacations are supposed to take you away from the stress and strife of daily life. However, if you are battling with your ex-spouse about custody arrangements during the summer months, you are probably having a hard time relaxing and enjoying the time off. More importantly, your children may feel tension between their parents, and this could create anxiety.
When making vacation arrangements, divorced parents must keep in mind the custody plan the court put into place. If either you or your co-parent violates that order, you may face serious legal consequences.
Many Ways to Resolve The Issue
The best solution to any conflict involving your children is to come to a compromise with your ex-spouse. Sitting down together with a calendar may allow you to get an overview of the summer — the family reunions, summer camps, birthdays, and family trips — so the children get to have a fair amount of time with each of you. If settling these things in person is not practical, email or video chat may work.
Your custody plan probably has rules about how much notice you need to give each other before changing the schedule. By honoring this, you set a standard of trust that your spouse may appreciate and return. On the other hand, if you try to slip out of town with the kids without notifying their other parent, your co-parent would be within his or her rights to involve the court.
If your efforts at communicating about summer schedule modifications have not gone well, you may consider contacting a mediator. This neutral party will hear both sides and help you reach an agreement. You may also decide to have your attorney meet with your co-parent’s attorney to do the bargaining for you.
Your Right to Legal Help
Incorporating summers and holidays into your court-ordered custody plan from the beginning may relieve that stress, but perhaps your co-parent is not honoring the custody plan. On the other hand, maybe you have a wonderful opportunity to take the children somewhere, and your ex-spouse refuses to compromise on the schedule.
Whatever your issue with custody this summer, family advocates recommend dealing with it early so that you can reach an agreement before summer passes completely. If you and your ex-spouse can’t come to that agreement on your own, you have alternatives. A child custody lawyer can help you examine the options that will allow your family to reach a summer vacation plan that will be as stress-free as possible.