Avoiding Conflict With Your Ex During Summer Vacation
While children who attend school look forward to summer break with great anticipation, most parents do not, particularly if they are divorced or separated. Aside from juggling child care and finding things for kids to do, you also must deal with your ex in terms of sharing parenting time with your children. Luckily, there are some ways that you can avoid a potentially stressful and hostile situation during the summer months.
Providing for Summer Break in Your Parenting Plan
Florida law requires that all divorced or otherwise separated parents have a parenting plan in place, which is a written document that sets forth the parties’ rights and responsibilities in terms of sharing their children. While it is best for parents to come up with and agree to their own parenting plan, the court will impose a parenting plan that it believes is in the best interest of the child if the parents cannot reach an agreement on a parenting plan. One provision that you should include in your parenting plan is how you will share the kids over extended breaks from school, including summer vacation. Who will have the kids when? Who will provide child care, if necessary, during those times? Are you planning on taking the children on vacation? Your parenting plan ideally should address all of these important issues.
Vacation and Your Children
Many parents plan family vacations around summer break, and divorced or separated parents are no exception. It is important to notify your child’s other parent of the dates that you intend to be gone and where you will be going, as early as possible. This allows the other parent to also make vacation plans if he or she wishes to do so. You also need to make arrangements with the other parent if you are planning on a vacation outside of the country. Federal law requires both parents’ consent in order to obtain passports for minor children. This can be a highly disputed issue, so if you anticipate a disagreement over the location of your planned vacation, it is wise to make plans as early as possible, so that you can request the intervention of the court, if necessary.
Preparing the Children for Summer Break
Once you and your ex have agreed upon a plan for your children during summer break, you should both explain the plan to the children and answer any questions that they might have about it. Children need security and care from both parents, and it may distress them to be away from one parent or the other for an extended period of time. Therefore, you need to consider whether shorter times between exchanges of the children would be better for them, or if simply dividing the summer in half with each parent is a solution that would work best for your family.
Contact Your Fort Lauderdale Family Law Attorney for Legal Advice
If you are facing a divorce or separation from your significant other, your children are likely to be the foremost concern in your mind. Take care to immediately consult with an experienced Florida family law attorney who can guide you through all aspects of your family case, including the establishment of a parenting plan for your children. Contact Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, today and see how we can help.