Finding ways to keep your children busy during their summer vacation can be a chore in and of itself. Couple that with potential scheduling conflicts you and your ex-spouse may have and you are looking at a two-month long nightmare. Summer break should be a time for you to relax with your children and spend some quality time together.
Below, we discuss five ways to avoid child custody issues during summer break.
1.Create a Schedule
Maybe you would like to take your child/children out of state for three weeks to visit family they haven’t seen in a while. Little do you know, your ex-spouse would also like to take them on a trip to a theme park they’ve been begging to check out during that same time frame. If you aren’t on good terms with your former partner, this could be cause for an explosive argument. A scenario like this can easily be avoided if you work together to create a schedule for sharing time with the kids during the summer. Take some time before the school year ends to discuss plans you may have for your children and work out when and how long each of you would like to have the kids. If this is done effectively, you can each take your children on trips and everyone can enjoy the time they have together.
2.Double Check that You Aren’t Violating a Custody Agreement
So, you’ve spoken with your ex- spouse and a time schedule has been firmly set and agreed upon. You decide you would like to take the kids on a cruise to Mexico. Not so fast. It looks as if taking your children out of the country without written consent from their other parent is a violation of your custody agreement. Before you book those cruise tickets, you must speak with your former partner and get them to agree, in writing, to let you take them out of the country. While doing this might seem overkill for something so innocent, if you don’t comply with the agreement you could face unwanted consequences. This could include a charge of parental kidnapping if you don’t get consent from the other parent. Make sure you read over your custody agreement thoroughly before making any summer plans that take place out of the country, or even out of the state.
3.Give Notice in a Timely Manner
You’ve created a schedule with your ex-partner, you made sure all the plans you have don’t breech the custody agreement, now its time for you to pick up your kids and go on an adventure. Make sure you give notice of your arrival before you get to the agreed-upon location. There is nothing worse than a person showing up at your house unannounced before you’ve had time to get anything ready. If you do something like this to your former spouse, it could have negative consequences. Maybe they aren’t there when you arrive, or no bags are packed and the children aren’t ready to leave. It could take hours to finally get on the road and you could end up making your former spouse very angry. Giving advanced notice before you arrive is the most respectful and easy way to transition the children from one parent to the other. This applies to both picking up the children and dropping them off again. You don’t have to get along with your ex, but you should at least try to make the process as pain-free as possible.
4.Exchange Custody in a Neutral Space
Perhaps exchanging custody at each other’s place of residence is a no-go. Maybe you or your ex-spouse has a new partner that either of you might not get along with or being alone together for any amount of time never results in a pleasant exchange. Consider making the exchange somewhere neutral, such as a park or a restaurant your children really enjoy. Doing so creates a safer climate for you and your children and will result in an overall, stress-free experience.
5.Let Your Children Communicate with Your Former Partner
You’re one week in to your cruise with your children and one of them misses your ex something terrible. Make sure you give your children the option to contact their other parent. It’s understandable that you would want uninterrupted time with your children during your scheduled vacation, but preventing your child speaking to their other parent will only cause problems in the long run. Continue your vacation with your children, but make sure they always have the option of speaking or writing to their other parent if they wish.
Do you need some legal advice on how to negotiate time spent with your children during summer vacation? Is your ex-spouse causing issues for you while you are trying to give your children a summer vacation? contact us online or call us at (346) 444-1050 for a consultation.