Summer’s Approaching – Parents Are You Prepared?
With the end of the school year for children fast approaching, separated and divorced parents face some challenges that intact families may not. Before you depart for vacation, have you considered the following questions?
Does your current schedule for parental custodial time with the children serve the children’s best interests? Do you need to negotiate adjustments for summer or when school resumes?
Have you made your request in writing for your upcoming vacation time with the children and shared travel plans/itineraries with your co-parent? Have they provided you with the same information?
If your plans include travel outside of the country, have you obtained your co-parent’s written consent for international travel and/or their cooperation for obtaining a passport for a minor? Some airlines request documentation supporting the other parent’s consent to international travel.
Does your custody agreement/order detail the family plans for holidays during summer that include Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day? Are the dates, times and custody exchanges for those holidays specific and agreed upon?
Have you and your co-parent discussed/agreed upon summer childcare plans and or summer camp enrollment? If so, which parent has the responsibility for the costs of those plans? If the costs are shared, what percentage does each parent pay, and do they pay it to the provider or to the other parents? Is there a way to enforce this payment?
Will any of your children be starting school for the first time or starting in a new school in the fall? And if so, have you obtained your co-parent’s consent? Will there be new or increased tuition costs? Do you need to consider modifying your support arrangements?
If you are uncertain about any of the answers to these questions, you should review your current custody and/or support agreements/orders with your Family Law attorney to ensure that you have addressed your children’s best interests and needs for the summer and the coming school year.
By: Judy Hayman, Esq.