Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Summer often signals changes to custody and visitation agreements

As the month of April draws to a close, school children in and around Jersey City are counting down the few short weeks until school is officially out and summer vacation begins. For kids, summer is typically thought of as a time for fun. For parents, the summer months can present many logistical challenges as decisions must be made about how and where a child will spend his or her days. For divorced parents, the summer months can be particularly difficult as schedule changes are likely to also necessitate changes to an existing school-year custody and visitation agreement.

Divorced parents who wish to avoid getting into ugly arguments and disputes about where a child will spend his or her summer vacation, would be wise to heed the following advice:

  • Plan ahead - When it comes to custody issues, co-parents often become upset when an ex makes or fails to communicate last-minute changes. In cases where a parent knows that he or she wants to take a vacation or have physical custody of a child on specific dates, such plans to should be communicated early and formally agreed to by both parents.
  • Communicate openly and frequently - With vacations, trips to the pool and camps to cram in; free summer days can quickly become booked. To avoid scheduling conflicts, divorced parents should communicate with one another about their plans and establish some sort of formal master system for keeping track of a child's summer schedule. 
  • Get help - In cases where parents aren't on good terms or can't agree about custody changes during the summer months, it's important to consult with a family law attorney. An attorney can provide advice and assist in resolving custody-related disputes

Children look forward to summer all school year. It's important, therefore, that divorced parents do their best to set aside differences and compromise to ensure that a child's summer is full of fun and that both parents are able to spend quality time with a child.  

Source: Huffington Post, "Summer Vacation And Child Custody Agreements," Liz Mandarano, July 12, 2012

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