With summer right around the corner, vacation plans are likely under way. Perhaps your family likes spending a week at the beach or taking a camping trip. You may be looking forward to a ‘staycation’ where you take advantage of the abundance of activities in our area, such as nearby museums, zoos, or amusement parks. Whatever your intentions, if you are going through a divorce and contending with child custody proceedings, there is no need to let this stop you from enjoying some family bonding time together. Time for these trips can be allocated in child custody summer visitation plans but it often requires some extra preparation and negotiations with the other parent.
Including Summer Vacations In Your Parenting Plans
Under the South Carolina Children’s Code, parenting plans must be submitted in all child custody proceedings. If you and your former partner can agree on key issues, you can make a joint parenting plan together. If not, you can each submit an individual plan and negotiate the details or have a judge decide on the final arrangements. Parenting plans include the following:
Whether parents will share joint custody or whether one will be the primary guardian while the other has visitation
Plans for evenings, weekends, and overnight stays
Plans for holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and school breaks
Designations on who has decision making responsibility for the child in matters impacting their health, education, and religious upbringing
When considering school break and summer visitation plans with your child, you will need to be flexible in working with the other parent. If your relationship with them is amicable you may be able to negotiate a weekend or a week away during time that is not otherwise scheduled in your parenting plan. Otherwise, you will need to make your arrangements well in advance and work with the court in ensuring they are included in any final order issued.
Tips for Negotiating Vacation Time With Your Children
Working with your former partner can help alleviate many of the headaches that are often involved in taking a vacation with children after a divorce. Huffington Post offers the following tips when making these plans:
Be specific. Rather than saying you want time to ‘get away’ with your children, state specifically where and when you want to go and how long the trip is expected to last.
Communicate details. It can allay worries if you communicate details about the trip with the other parent, such as where you are staying and the types of activities you are likely to do on your trip.
Make checklists. Get information together, such as emergency contact numbers, instructions on what to pack, and any special needs your child has.
Contact Us Today For Help
Child custody issues are among the most sensitive dealt with by the family court. They require professional legal representation to help ensure your rights as a parent are protected. Contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC to request a consultation with our Aiken, SC child custody attorneys today.