Despite recent dismal weather, the calendar tells us that it is almost vacation time. Throughout New Jersey, classes are ending and children are eager for some summer fun. However, what happens when former spouses share parenting time? More specifically, how are trips and getaways scheduled? Here are some tips for divorced families planning vacation.
Determining the Vacation Schedule
One of the crucial concerns for divorcing parents is parenting time. The decision to separate or divorce is often a difficult one. Nevertheless, most mothers and fathers recognize the value in spending time with their children. Despite other issues, many will consciously work together to ensure their offspring enjoy their divided time. Still others will need the court’s intercession to set up a vacation schedule.
Whether the parenting time is court mandated or negotiated between the parties, it becomes part of the divorce paperwork. Most commonly, vacation time is specified in the settlement agreement between the former spouses. In addition to spelling out a holiday or visitation schedule, there should be allowances for extended vacations. Often, the agreements are not date specific and may lead to misunderstandings and frustration.
Deviations from the Parenting Schedule
Life itself is filled with unforeseeable circumstances. Therefore, parenting schedules do not always work out as predicted. In some cases, it is because the parties are not willing to work with each other. In others, the specified parenting arrangements may conflict with the child’s activities. For example, sports practice may be mandatory and scheduled during the allotted vacation dates.
Ideally, it would be best if parents could be flexible in their adaption of the parenting agreement. It is unfortunate that resentment and spite often work against the best interests of children. It may be necessary to motion the court for a ruling on prospective changes to the vacation schedule. In working with a parent in this type of situation, Sam Stoia provides a compassionate approach. He understands the law, as well as the emotional issues associated with parenting time.
Planning the Vacation
In planning the vacation time with your children, please make sure to follow these important tips:
- Timing can be everything. Plan accordingly.
- Before you shell out the money to meet Mickey and the gang, make sure to solicit written consent from the other parent. Unless otherwise specified, you cannot take your child out of state without this documentation or a court order.
- If the plan is to vacation out of the country, you will also need written consent or a court order authorizing you to remove the child from the country. Obviously, you will also need a passport for the child.
- Make vacation plans that will create great memories. Money does not necessarily buy good times. Focus on bonding with your child.
- Allow your child the opportunity to communicate with the other parent.
Parenting time and vacation are important. If you have issues regarding these matters, contact Sam Stoia to discuss your legal alternatives.