Couples who are fresh from a split need to be proactive about determining the summer custody terms that will best serve their family’s needs. If you are newly separated from your spouse, you may or may not yet have an interim custody order in place.
Even if an order is in place, it may not reflect the custody circumstances for your minor children after their schools are let out for summer break. Below are some summer custody tips for separated and divorcing couples.
1. Understand any custody order currently in place
If you already have an interim custody order in place during your divorce, read over the terms. The terms could mandate that neither parent can remove the children from the state or the District, or must notify the other parent before doing so. If so, that provision will affect your family’s travel plans for the summer vacation, so you need to plan accordingly.
Should you want to travel farther afield this summer, you might need to petition the court for permission to travel either domestically or abroad with your children — and that can take time.
2. Communicate with your co-parent about your plans
If you share minor children with an ex, you will need to effectively communicate with them for the best interests of those children. That can be quite challenging when one or both of the parties are still smarting from the split. If talking with your ex is too painful now, there are co-parenting apps you can download and use to communicate with one another about matters involving the kids.
3. Be flexible toward your co-parent to encourage a return
If your soon-to-be ex-spouse asks to swap weekends with you so the kids can attend a wedding or reunion with their relatives, consider cooperating. After all, the goal is to do what’s best for the children. Unless they would be exposed to harm, switching is fine. You, too, might need this flexibility later, especially when it comes time to discuss summer vacations.
4. Factor in your children’s other summer commitments
Depending on the ages of the minor children, they could have commitments to sports teams, summer camp or even part-time jobs. This adds a layer of complexity to your summer custody plans. Reviewing your options now allows you time to formulate a workable summer custody schedule with your co-parent.