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Could summer schedules throw custody plans for a loop?

Summer is finally here in all it's glory -- which means a lot of different things to people. For divorced parents, summer often means trying to navigate difficult waters surrounding the issue of custody and parenting time.

During the school year, kids and parents tend to fall into a fairly steady, comfortable routine. It can be easy to work out a custody and visitation schedule that accommodates the school schedule.

Summer schedules, however, can get complicated:

  • One or both parents may want to go on an extended vacation somewhere and take the kids with them. That could deeply cut into the other parent's scheduled visitation.
  • A grandparent or some other relative may offer to let the kids stay with them for part of the summer -- which can be exciting for the kids but not so much for the parent who is missing out on their scheduled parenting time.
  • An older child may start a summer job. That can necessitate staying close enough to the job location for an easy commute -- making it hard for the teen to spend time with a parent that lives further away.

These are just some of the reasons that summer isn't quite like any other time of the year when it comes to custody issues.

What can you do if a parenting plan no longer works for you and your children? Sometimes you and your children's other parent will be able to work out an informal agreement that allows flexibility. Other times, however, you may be forced to ask the court to make a modification to your existing custody order -- especially if the other parent isn't being reasonable.

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