Summertime is all about fun in the sun, but if you have child custody arrangements
to consider, it’s best you sort those out prior to vacation time.
While you and your co-parent may have your custody arrangement nailed
down while your kids are in school, summer vacation can throw all of your
plans off-kilter. With summer just around the corner, consider these key
issues with child custody in the summer to prepare yourself and your family
for new arrangements.
For some, summer vacation begins when the season changes, but for parents
and children, it begins when school is out. When your children are out
of school, consider who will be taking care of them if you and their other
parent both work. Consider summer camps, local daycare or summer programs
offered through their school.
Also, make sure you inform your children’s other parent of any foreseeable
plans or issues as soon as you can. Providing notification in a timely
manner isn’t only considerate, it can make things easier on your
children and improve the communication between you and your co-parent.
Planning out the details and deciding on a schedule before summer can
make vacation plans easier and more enjoyable for each of you, and can
even save you the trouble of an unnecessary a court date.
Regardless of the custody arrangement you have, navigating vacation time
with your children can be tricky. Your ex may have full custody and wish
to take the children away for an extended period of time, where you would
not be able to visit. Or, perhaps you have shared custody and you wish
to take a vacation with your children on a week their other parent typically
would have them. No matter your situation, the best way to handle vacations
and time management is to discuss them with your co-parent.
If you are on good terms, try to meet up with your co-parent to discuss
your vacation schedules so that the two of you can come to an agreement.
When discussing this schedule, be mindful of your children’s plans
or any activities they will want to attend, like sports games and practices,
birthday parties, etc..
Time Without the Children
Be aware of any time you plan to be away without the children, and be sure
their other parent is able to care for them during that time. For example,
if you will be out of town for a wedding your children cannot attend,
be sure your co-parent is free and able to have them that weekend.
Be especially mindful your vacation falls on time normally scheduled for
the children to be with you. Always check your co-parent before you make
definite plans and ensure your children will be safely taken care of.
Keep in mind, noncustodial parents will likely still need to pay child
support even if they have the children for an extended period of time.
Unless otherwise discussed, in writing, with the courts or your co-parent,
expect to pay child support even when you have the children with you.
While these tips can help you better prepare for changing child custody
arrangements in the summer time, some situations are too complex, and
some relationships too volatile, for these arrangements to be made alone.
If you and your children’s parent are unable to reach an agreement
or cannot discuss plans civilly, you may consider hiring a mediator for help.
You can hire a mediator, or you and your co-parent may involve your child
custody lawyers to represent each of your interests in a civil, organized
manner. For difficult, strained relationships, this could make rehashing
custody issues simpler and less stressful.
For help with difficult summer child custody issues in the Phoenix area,
contact Steven N. Cole, LLC. Attorney Cole is dedicated to helping you and your family navigate the
difficult issues with child custody to ensure that you and your children
have a fun, memorable summer.