Give timely notice of summer vacation schedule with the kids.
If you’re taking the children on a summer vacation, give the other parent early notice of your vacation plans. Provide the dates of travel, the itinerary and accurate contact information at least two months in advance. Whether you’re the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, sharing this information on a prompt and timely basis – as early as possible – will help you in your custody or visitation case.
Too often, custodial parents take the children on getaways to the seashore or the mountains without informing the non-custodial parent, or by providing him with only spare or misleading information. On the other hand, non-custodial parents often fail to get their vacation plans together until the summer has already begun, often competing with the custodial parent for specific dates or weeks in July or August. For busy kids – those who attend summer camp and participate in baseball or soccer teams – the competition for free vacation weeks can be tense.
Judges generally do not like to receive summertime motions from a non-custodial parent complaining that the custodial parent has been secretive or evasive about her vacation plans with the children, or that she has been monopolizing the process. Likewise, judges tend to disapprove of motions from custodial parents charging that the non-custodial parent sat on his laurels and took no action to arrange a summer vacation with the children until after the summer already began. Such disorganization or lack of communication rubs the court the wrong way, and doesn’t help anybody’s position in a child custody case.
Parents should start thinking about summer vacations in the winter and vice versa. Besides the fact that prices may be better for those who make early bookings, a timely exchange of information with the other parent will cast you as being a responsible, well-organized parent and will solidify your priority right to the applicable vacation time.