With summer just around the corner, it is important to make sure you and your ex are ready to make a child custody plan that works with everyone’s schedule. One of you may wish to take the kids on a family vacation out-of-state, while the other might be planning a tropical cruise. In order to accommodate your plans, your ex’s plans, and those of your children, it is crucial that you know how to properly handle child custody changes before issues arise.
1. Make a Schedule
When dealing with child custody matters, it is always best to be proactive and discuss any upcoming changes before an issue develops. Making a schedule before summer begins not only makes it easier for you to plan your break, it also makes for a more stable environment for your children. When your children can see their plans, clearly laid out and unified in each home, it can make it easier as they move from one parent’s care to the other.
In order to create a schedule try to plan a day to meet with your co-parent, preferably on neutral ground, like a coffee shop. If you are not able to meet amicably, try to create a schedule over email, or, in a situation where you are unable to come to any agreements, seek mediation. Consider the needs of both sides, try to accommodate both of your planned vacations and find a schedule that works for both of you and for your children.
2. Honor Your Custody Agreement
Upholding the rules set out in your custody agreement is absolutely essential when you make a summer schedule. Some custody agreements have travel limitations, so if you plan to leave the state or the country, make sure this is allowed. If it is not permitted, there are forms you can fill out to seek permission, and it is typically a straightforward and simple process. In the event that you and your ex find that your current custody agreement no longer applies to your current situation, you may seek a modification to the agreement.
3. Open the Lines of Communication
Having a set plan can be great, but they may not always work out. If anything should change, such as a canceled trip or a change in dates, make sure you communicate those changes with your co-parent sooner rather than later. Think of how you would feel in their shoes, and try to be respectful of their time, giving them adequate notice before uprooting their plans with your children.
4. Put Your Children First
Above all else, make sure you and your ex make your children the priority. It may be difficult to communicate with your ex at times, and co-parenting can be very stressful and frustrating, but remember why you are doing it. Keep in mind, your co-parent and you share a common goal in caring for and loving your children, so try to be understanding and considerate for their sake. When you have your children for a long vacation, encourage them to reach out to their other parent. If you are traveling, it would be nice to let your ex know where your children are, how they can be reached in an emergency, and so on. Also, make sure you are planning a summer schedule that they can be excited about. If they have a friend’s birthday party coming up, or weekend soccer games, make sure you and your co-parent make time for your kids’ wishes.
Making these conscious decisions to be proactive in creating a custody schedule, and staying open to the needs of your children and their other parent can make summer break more enjoyable for everyone involved. If you need additional help creating a summer custody agreement, consider seeking help from our experienced family lawyers. We can help you and your ex reach the best solution for your families while also ensuring that we uphold all of the legal requirements of your custody agreement.
To schedule your free consultation, contact Hedayati Law Group, P.C.