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Summertime is when divorced spouses most often have disputes about custody and their child’s travel plans and schedule. Summer vacations are a time for parents to spend special time with their children and make memories that will last a lifetime. The courts believe that it is in a child’s best interest to spend time on vacation with each of their parents. 

Because the summer drastically changes a child’s schedule with school being over, families often switch to a summer custody schedule when the school year ends. Children may attend summer camp or other activities, and parents need to communicate to ensure everyone is on the same page in terms of schedules, child drop-off and pick-up, and custody transfers. During divorce negotiations, parents should outline a summer vacation parenting time plan that stipulates precisely how their child will spend their summer break with each parent. It is important to take into account holiday weekends such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day when discussing summer parenting time.

Vacation time may be specified in a parenting plan and custody agreement. Each parent should be allotted reasonable vacation time in their divorce agreement that can be taken when the child is out of school, during the summer months or another extended school break. Vacation time will supersede the regular parenting time schedule.

Travel, especially travel to another country, is often a point of contention between divorced parents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection strongly recommends that when a child is only traveling with one parent, they should have a note from the other parent acknowledging that their child is traveling out of the country and permitting them to take them. When establishing your child custody agreement, travel stipulations should be outlined and agreed upon to avoid issues in the future. Parents should give ample notice (commonly between thirty and sixty days) to the other parent of their plan to travel. A parent may also supply an itinerary and information about the trip to provide the non-traveling parent with peace of mind.

Communication is of the utmost importance when it comes to divorced parents and their children during the summer months. Summer is a time for children to enjoy themselves and bond with their friends and family, so it is in their best interest that they can spend time on vacation with each of their parents.

The talented attorneys at Bozanian McGregor will be there for you throughout the entire custody process and whenever you need them in the future. If you have any questions regarding your current custody agreement and vacation time, please contact us at (201) 947-1500.

About the Author
Elton’s passion has always been family, guardianship, and estate practice, and the complexities that accompany each unique, family-oriented matter.