Now that it is summer, kids are officially out of school, which means you might be considering your next family vacation. If you are divorced from your spouse, however, this is where cooperation and a solid parenting plan comes in handy. While having to share time with a co-parent can make scheduling slightly more complicated, it is completely doable for your whole family to have an enjoyable summer and bond with the children.
While considering your summertime plans, keep these helpful tips in mind to avoid unnecessary fights with your ex:
- Do not violate an existing child custody order: A lot of detail goes into a child custody order, so if you are not completely familiar with what yours says, now is the time to ensure you understand it in its entirety to avoid violating it. Custody orders have rules about traveling with children, so if you are planning a summer trip, you need to know the details of your custody order. Scheduling your vacation during a week when you have custody will make the details of your summer fun easier to arrange.
- Inform your co-parent about your plans with the children: Do not just take the children on vacation without informing the other parent. The sooner you inform him or her about your plans, the better. Surprises tend not to go over well, so avoid any last minute notices or decisions when it comes to summer plans with the children. Giving an adequate head’s up on any upcoming vacations will not only help your co-parent plan better, but also help facilitate a better, less contentious relationship. People are generally more willing to cooperate with others who show the same courtesy.
- Make a plan and stick to it: When you and your co-parent have shared plans with one another regarding the summer schedule for your children, it is crucial to stick to it. Unless there are reasons outside of your control that require changes, last minute alterations can cause problems with your ex. Try to stick to your word and hold up your end of the deal. You are not just letting down your co-parent with whom you might already have a shaky relationship, but you are also letting down your children who are likely looking forward to their summer plans with you.
- Seek any necessary modifications: If your plans absolutely cannot fit within your current custody arrangement, as a last resort, you can seek a modification to accommodate them. If your plan involves traveling outside the allowable range, for example, you will need to have this modified before you can proceed with your plans. This is usually a simple enough task with the help of an attorney. In fact, an attorney can assist you in making any reasonable modifications in your custody agreement to ensure your summer trip does not involve violating its parameters.
- Let your kids communicate with the other parent during the vacation: Just because you are on a summer break with your children, does not mean now is the time to enforce an embargo on their communication with their other parent. Allow your children to stay in contact with him or her, whether through phone calls, texts, or even Skype. This will help them feel connected even while they are far away from one another. It will also encourage your ex to do the same for you when it is his or her turn. Remember to always do your best to keep the peace with your co-parent if for no other reason than for the sake and happiness of your children.
St. Louis Child Custody Attorneys
At Kallen Law Firm, LLC, our St Louis family law attorneys consult with expert witnesses like psychologists, psychiatrists, and child development experts to assist our clients in achieving their objectives in divorce or in child custody litigation. Our experts are often recognized as leaders in their field, providing our clients with the wealth of knowledge necessary to protect their interests as well as the interests of their children in a legal landscape that has become increasingly complex.
If you are in the midst of a child custody case or are seeking modifications to a child custody order, reach out to our law firm today and get started on your case.
Contact us at (314) 441-7793 to schedule a free consultation.