Tips for Co-parents to Plan Summer Vacation Schedules
With summer only a few weeks away, co-parents need a summer access and vacation schedule in place. Approaching the summer months without a plan in place could take what should be a fun time for the children, and turn it into a time of arguments, disappointment, and confusion. For those who have not outlined a specific schedule for summer vacations with their co-parent, here are a few tips to help facilitate the conversation and ensure that no child or parent will be forced to sacrifice valuable family time this year.
Vacation Time Often Takes Precedence Over Standard Visitation Time
In most co-parenting agreements and Orders, vacation and holiday time supersedes standard visitation schedules. For example, if one parent has properly scheduled their vacation time in accordance with the agreement, and wishes to take the kids on a trip, they can do so even if the vacation does not fall on a standard week of custody. Some parents agree that vacation weeks can be taken consecutively, while others are non-consecutive, so as to avoid the children being away from either parent for a long period of time. When planning your vacation, make sure to carefully read your agreement or Order and select your dates accordingly. It may be hard to change reservations and plans at the last minute if you fail to follow vacation provisions.
Outline Dates on a Co-parenting Vacation Calendar
A simple solution for avoiding scheduling conflicts with a co-parent throughout the year can be the creation of a mutually agreed upon vacation calendar. Toward the beginning of a calendar year, talk with your co-parent about how you envision the coming months with the children. While plans may change down the road, a fixed calendar can provide a decent framework for upcoming vacation time.
Parents should pick a date by which vacation dates will be selected and have an agreement in place in case parents want the same weeks as to who gets priority. Parents should also be cognizant of family traditions such as reunions or trips with extended family so that the children do not miss out on a vacation they enjoyed in prior years.
Share Details With Your Co-parent Well in Advance
Before you or your co-parent schedules a summer trip, consider looking back at your co-parenting agreement to review what information needs to be shared between both parties. Particularly for long-distance trips, co-parents will ideally share vacation details with one another, including:
Relevant contact information
How to get a passport (if needed)
To be proactive and avoid future conflicts, co-parents may also want to consider scheduling time in advance for phone calls/video calls with the children while they are on vacation. The children may be busy having fun to do a call every night, but a call once or twice during a week may make a big difference to the other parent and the children.
Work Out Your Disagreements With a Mediator or Parent Coordinator
A conflict over scheduling vacations, while important to you, does not rise to the level of a Court emergency. As such, the Court may not be able to resolve your vacation dispute before the summer starts. Co-parents who are unable to reach any form of agreement over summer vacation schedules may want to consider speaking with an experienced Mediator or Parent Coordinator. Mediators can facilitate a discussion between the parties and help the parties reach a resolution. If you and your co-parent need a “tie-breaker”, then a Parent Coordinator can step in to resolve the dispute. With the expert guidance of a Mediator or Parent Coordinator, co-parents can come to a workable resolution. If you have questions about co-parenting schedules, please contact Laurie Wasserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-842-1070. The legal team at Wasserman Family Law is here to help guide and advocate for you.
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