With the kids out of school for summer break, you might have already thought of all the fun bonding activities you would love to do with them. However, if you share child custody with your ex-spouse, things can get a little hairy if you have not shared these plans with him or her. To ensure your summer vacation with the children is enjoyable, relaxing, and fun, take the time to sort out all of the details with your co-parent to avoid any unnecessary fights.
Here are some helpful tips that will make bickering over child custody one less thing for you and your family to worry about:
- Create a vacation schedule and stay with it: Schedules are great, but they cannot do anyone much good if no one sticks to them. Sit down with your ex and discuss your plans with him or her. If necessary, you can even craft a formal document with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, and have your ex sign off on it before submitting it to a family court judge. This will ensure everyone is on the same page regarding how the children will spend the summer. It will also hold both parties accountable for upholding their end of the agreement.
- Do not violate your child custody agreement: In some cases, a child custody agreement might have some geographical limits. Perhaps yours prevents you or your former spouse from taking the children out of the state or out of the country. If you are not sure or do not remember the limitations of your own agreement, now is the time to give it a closer look. If you are planning a summer vacation abroad and your custody agreement prohibits you from taking the children out of the country, you will need to get the agreement modified. Speak with your ex about it and ask to have the custody agreement modified to allow them to travel.
- Give sufficient notice to your ex: If you really want to avoid arguing with your ex this summer, give him or her adequate notice of your vacation plans. The last thing you want to do is drop your summer plans on your former spouse at the last minute. Try to provide a head’s up at least a couple of months in advance, so your ex is aware of your travel plans with the children. It is the right and considerate thing to do.
- Exchange custody in a neutral or safe space: Child custody exchange does not have to be stressful. If you and your ex truly have a contentious relationship, try meeting in a well-monitored public place where your children can feel safe. A day care or their school, for example, are perfect choices for custody changes, especially if you and your ex are not comfortable with being in the same room together. Eliminating the tension between parents will also lessen the stress your children might feel.
- Let your children communicate with the other parent while away on vacation: Just because you have the children for a summer break does not mean you should prevent them from communicating with their other parent. Whatever your feelings might be toward your ex, your children are likely to miss him or her and not being able to maintain contact will upset or sadden them. Instead of behaving vindictively, allow your kids to contact their other parent. Texting, emails, phone calls, and Skype are all excellent ways to help your children feel connected to their parent even while miles away.
Get the most out of your summer with the kids and follow these helpful tips.
Morris County Child Custody Attorney
Divorce is never an easy decision to make and the process is often much more complicated when children are involved. If you are in the midst of a divorce and have children, or you would like to modify a current child custody agreement, you must seek the experienced and skilled legal counsel of a Morris County family law attorney from O’Sullivan Law Group. Our legal team works hard to help our clients secure child custody arrangements that preserve their parental rights and minimize the overall impact of the process on the emotional and psychological well-being of the children.
To speak with a knowledgeable Morris County child custody attorney today, call us at (973) 947-8699 and schedule a free consultation.