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Child custody, summer vacation and keeping things friendly

Summer vacation is one of the best times to kick back and relax with your loved ones.

If you're divorced and have intentions of vacationing with your child this summer, it's important to follow a few key tips with an eye toward avoiding a disagreement with your ex-spouse.

Here are five tips to avoid child custody disagreements when planning and enjoying your summer vacation:

  • Create a vacation schedule: This is critical, as it gives the other parent a clear idea of your plans. Once you create and share this schedule, do your best to stick to it. You don't want to make one change after the next, as it can throw the other parent for a curve with regard to his or her summer plans.
  • Review your child custody agreement: One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming you can vacation wherever you want with your child. Your custody agreement may have language about where you can travel, such as restrictions on leaving the state or country.
  • Give advanced notice: It's not always easy to do, but provide the other parent with as much notice as possible. Just the same as a schedule, this shows that you're trying to get along and keep everyone on the same page.
  • Discuss last minute details when exchanging custody: This is a time to go over any final details, such as best forms of communication during the trip and when you'll be returning home.
  • Encourage your child to communicate with the other parent: Don't make the mistake of telling your child he or she is not permitted to contact the other parent while on the trip. This makes things worse on all parties involved. You should establish a clear line of communication for your child, such as regular phone calls or text messages.

Child custody concerns have the potential of getting in the way of an enjoyable summer vacation. Fortunately, when you follow these steps, you improve the likelihood of avoiding a difficult situation.

If the other parent continues to fight back, such as by trying to stop you from planning a vacation, it may be time to learn more about your legal rights and the action you can take.

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