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Summer break and co-parenting

While many families are looking forward to the warm weather, BBQs and lazy afternoons at the pool, other parents who are divorced or separated are trying to determine how to keep their summers from turning into a free-for-all that is chaotic and very stressful. Here are several tips to help you and your ex keep the peace during the summer.

-- Plan accordingly: One way to make sure that your children have a great summer break is to develop a vacation schedule. Most court orders specifically list which parent has the children during the summer months. This can make it easier. There are also usually deadlines listed as to how long you have before you must let your ex know about your vacation plans. By simply stating that you'll meet your ex at the gas station at 7 p.m. on the 5th of July, you will significantly decrease the amount of tension you and your ex are feeling. In addition, you can also decrease the amount of stress your children are under.

-- Cover all your bases: If there is a trip planned out of the country by either parent, then you both will likely need to get notarized permission in order for the children to leave the U.S. There are also a number of countries that are simply not safe to visit right now. Keep checking to see how these countries or regions are dealing with the safety issues because any country can change in the spur of the moment.

-- Tell your ex all the details: By keeping the lines of communication open about summer vacations, it can help limit the animosity that tends grow during hectic times of the year. If something changes in your plans, let your ex know as soon as possible. If not, you could end up in trouble with the court.

Child custody and visitation during the summer does not have to be difficult -- it simply takes a bit of patience and understanding. This not only makes it better for you and your ex, but for the children, too. If you need help developing a parenting plan during your divorce that includes the summer months, an experienced divorce attorney can help.

Source: Huffington Post, "6 Summer Vacation Tips for Divorced or Separated Parents," Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson, accessed May 12, 2017

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