We have finally made it to April and many families are getting adjusted to life after Spring Break. For most of you, this is a very busy and time consuming part of the year as we swiftly advance towards the summer months.
For many families, the summer provides the greatest opportunity to take a vacation. For parents who have separated, the organization and planning of a summer vacation involves numerous complexities that are often overlooked. Let us consider the example of a parent who books a cruise for his/her family for a full week during the summer. Seems like a great idea, the children will love it and it will serve as a much needed getaway for that particular parent, but there is a problem. The scheduling parent failed to consult his/her parenting plan prior to booking the cruise.
The reading of the summer time-sharing guidelines in a parenting plan often gets completely ignored and the complications from this failure to read can be considerably consequential, both emotionally and financially. The excitement of planning the trip and getting the children excited about the vacation often causes parents to overlook the most important piece of this puzzle, whether they can actually take the children on vacation and remain in compliance with the parenting plan.
Judges often take the position that the parent had a duty to read the parenting plan and remain in compliance with the agreement and/or order. It is unfortunate for the children; however, the parent’s noncompliance will not be endorsed or authorized by the Court. By that point the parent, who was in technical violation of the parenting plan, casts all the blame on the other parent for not permitting the travel even though said parent scheduled a summer vacation in violation of the parenting plan.
The important lesson here is that all of the conflicts over summer time-sharing can be easily avoided. In many cases, the guidelines for summer time-sharing, vacations and travel are accounted for and specifically outlined in the parenting plan. In other cases, drafting a detailed parenting plan or amending a vague plan can resolve the vast majority of potential conflicts. In either situation, both parents have a duty to read and understand their parenting plans. Don’t spend your summer in Court litigating the summer time-sharing. Get it resolved now so that you and your children can have a wonderful summer!
If you are worried about potential summer vacation time-sharing conflicts or you have questions about your summer time-sharing plans we are here to help. Please contact us today.