Lauren Blaine | Charlotte, N.C. Family Law Attorney
The temperatures are rising, the kids are close to being out of school, and summer vacation is in sight. Generally speaking summer vacations for parents and their children are something to look forward to planning and taking as a family. However, for parents that are either divorced, separated, or going through a divorce, the planning and taking of summer vacations with your children can bring with it a certain amount of stress. Each custody case is different when it comes to the time each parent has with the child or children.
A lot of times, parents’ visitation with the children differs during the school year than in the summer. While parents may do the one-week on one-week off schedule during the school year, each parent may have the child or children for multiple weeks at a time either consecutive or nonconsecutive during the summer. Some concerns arise when trying to agree to a custody schedule especially when it comes to the summer time. As to be expected, each parent is entitled and wants to take their child or children on a vacation, typically at least a week long vacation. So how do the parents decide which parent gets what week and what things should be considered when getting to the “right” custody schedule for summer time?
If there is an agreement between the parents regarding custody and visitation, instead of sticking to the regular visitation schedule throughout the entire year, the parents should consider having a special visitation schedule that highlights the summer months and summer holidays. The agreement can also make reference to what notice requirement each parent needs to give to the other parent in regards to taking a vacation out of town or even out of the country and whether or not each parent’s time with the child or children is going to be consecutive or non-consecutive. The important thing to remember is structure and establishing this “game plan” upfront helps keep the children in the right mindset and makes for an easy transition for both the parents and the children.