Are you wondering how to deal with co-parenting disputes as summer approaches and restrictions associated with COVID-19 are finally relaxing? Are you thinking of traveling to take your children to visit grandparents or family you haven’t seen in over a year? Do you just need to take the kids and get away?
Your kids probably already have many things on the schedule such as sports, camps and other extra-curricular activities. A busy schedule for your child(ren) complicated by your parenting time schedule can make the logistics seem almost impossible to work out.
The Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq provide sound counsel in these situations. Often, the parenting plan itself should anticipate some of these issues and may address:
- How summer vacation time is to be allocated between the two co-parents
- How parenting time may be adjusted if one of the co-parents wishes to take the child(ren) on a trip
- How to handle spontaneous events
- The rights of each parent regarding taking the child(ren) out of state (or out of the country) without the other parent’s permission.
When things aren’t clearly addressed in the parenting plan it can be difficult to deal with co-parenting disputes as summer approaches. The last point above is perhaps the most important place to start. If you wish to travel with your child(ren) as a co-parent you must have the authority to do so. This is usually provided as part of the child custody and parenting time orders issued at the time of your divorce.
If it is not, and assuming the agreement of your co-parent, the easiest solution is to draft an outline of the trip you intend to take including departure and return dates, an overview of the itinerary (where you’ll be when) and how the child(ren) will maintain communications with the other parent while they are traveling. Take this outline to a Notary Public and have your signatures notarized. Your existing custody and parenting time orders may require you to submit this to the Court or seek the Court’s approval before a vacation or travel.
If your child(ren)’s co-parent is not in agreement what are your options? The first strategy to deal with co-parenting disputes is simply negotiation. Our attorneys can help to support you and work out an agreement to facilitate your travel plans. Mediation is another tool which is private, relatively quick and cost-efficient. If you participated in mediation during your divorce and had a positive experience then contact your mediator and schedule some time.
Summer travel plans as a co-parent require extensive planning, communication and in some cases documentation. We invite you to contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq or call us at 760-434-3330 to learn more about how we can help you to deal with co-parenting disputes and resolve them.