As spring time continues to unfold, many families are looking ahead to summer, making plans for vacation or other family activities, such as camp for the kids or visits with grand-parents, trips to amusement parks and other day events. If you’re currently navigating a divorce, you’ll want to make sure you incorporate specific terms of agreement in your settlement that can help you avoid summer time legal problems. In other words, you need to summer-proof your child custody plan.
The best way to avoid child custody problems during summer is to leave no stone unturned in your co-parenting agreement. Take your time and think things through thoroughly when negotiating your divorce settlement. Include terms that state how to address a need for schedule changes, such as if a parent has unexpected work obligations or gets sick. You’ll also want to discuss (and set in writing) agreeable terms for holidays, as well as your general custody or visitation schedule.
Consider child custody options and determine which is best for your family
You might know someone who has recently divorced. Perhaps this person has told you about his or her co-parenting schedule. Your parenting schedule doesn’t necessarily have to be the same. A benefit of child custody negotiations is that you and your co-parent can devise a plan that fits the needs of your children and family. If you think it’s best for your children to spend the whole summer with only one parent, then you can write out terms for that in your co-parenting plan.
Maybe that wouldn’t work in your family but having the kids stay several days with you, then several days with their other parent is agreeable to you and your ex. Then again, you might want to trade off by week instead of days. You’re free to create whatever arrangement works best for your family.
Summer time often spurs extra expenses
When you want to avoid disputes or legal problems with your co-parent during summer, it’s a good idea to discuss finances ahead of time. Kids often take on extra-curricular activities that involve fees or other expenses. You and your co-parent will want to decide ahead of time who will provide for their financial needs. Will you split the costs 50/50, or will you take turns paying for activities? Maybe one of you will cover expenses up to a certain amount, and the other will pay the difference.
Whatever you decide is fine, if you both agree. Just remember that more details you set in writing the better, because it leaves less room for confusion or dispute. If a legal problem arises during summer or any other time, you can reach out for support as needed if you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own.