You are super excited to take the kiddos on that big summer trip. So, you reach out to your ex to lock it in and you either get denied the vacation time, or told you need to reschedule it. Wait, what? But they are your kids. And vacation is going to be so fun. And you have already paid for it.

The summer schedule always lends itself to issues with child custody, and the custodial schedule, especially when it comes to vacations. How can you avoid facing these issues when it comes to planning and embarking on the fun summer vacation?

Most often, a vacation plan is outlined in at least some detail when you obtain custody orders from the Court, or you have a final parentage or dissolution judgment; however, this is not always the case. All too often, parents continue the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” path, which can lead to confusion, loss of deposits, and most importantly disappointment, especially for your kids.

If a vacation schedule has not been outlined in a previous court document, you may want to consider having a legal document drafted to establish clear vacation planning for both parents.

There are a few things to consider:

  • Who gets to travel with the kids? Grandparents? New partner? Kids’ friends?
  • How long can the travel be?
  • When/How often can the kids communicate with the non-custodial parent during the trip? Who initiates that contact?
  • What if both parents want to travel at the same time? Whose vacation takes priority?
  • Can the kids miss school for vacation? If so, how much is ok?
  • Who pays for the travel? Travel related supplies? Passports or ID cards?

A plan which is clear and outlined in detail helps to avoid the inevitable contention and discord which may arise from failing to plan. An arrangement can be very detailed, or vague. It is can be crafted to suit the parents and children’s needs.

If you think you may need a summer custody schedule, or wish to lock in some guidelines when coming to an agreement for summer vacations, contact Mendes Law, PC, and we can help walk you through it.

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