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The last year has been a rough one for school age children and for their parents as well. With the roll out of several Covid vaccines, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Kids and parents alike are beginning to think ahead to summer vacation and the possibility of life returning to some semblance of normal. If you are a divorced parent, that means navigating possession and access of your children during summer vacation with your former spouse. Dallas custody lawyer Rita M. Boyd offers some tips on how to prepare for summer vacation as a divorced parent and what to do if you encounter problems. 

Summer Vacation Planning Tips

Now is the time to start planning for summer vacation if you share parenting time with a former spouse. The following tips can help you prepare for the summer months ahead:

  1. Make sure you are clear on the terms of your Parenting Plan. When you went through the divorce process you submitted a Parenting Plan to the court for approval. Once accepted by the court, the terms of that plan become orders of the court. Most Parenting Plans include a roadmap for how possession and access of the children is to be handled during summer vacation. Before you do anything else, make sure you are clear on the term of that plan.
  2. Start planning now. Do not wait until a week before school is out. Reach out to your former spouse now to discuss your summer plans. With the Covid-19 pandemic still posing a threat in the U.S., travel plans may be especially complicated this year, making early planning and coordination even more vital.
  3. Allow older children to be involved. If your children are older, talk to them about how they want to handle summer vacation. While the terms of your Parenting Plan may govern summer vacation, it is always best to remain flexible if your children want to deviate some from the written plan. 
  4. Communicate in writing. Be sure to communicate with your former spouse in writing about your summer vacation schedules and plans. Not only will this help you both to communicate more effectively, but it also provides written proof of your efforts to successfully co-parent should a dispute arise. It can also serve as proof of an agreement between you and your former spouse to alter the terms of the Parenting Plan.
  5. Remain positive. Whether this is the first year or the tenth year that you have spent time without your children over the summer, it can be an adjustment to suddenly find yourself in an empty house for days at a time. Stay positive and consider the time “me time.” Schedule your own vacation or staycation or just enjoy the peace and quiet.

What to Do If a Dispute Arises

Despite your best efforts to plan ahead and work with your former spouse, a dispute may arise over parenting time during summer vacation. In fact, custody disputes relating to summer vacation are among the most common. One parent may plan a trip during the other parent’s possession and access time. Conversely, a parent who is supposed to spend extended time with the children during the summer may refuse to do so because he/she cannot afford child care. Regardless of the reason for the dispute, the minute you suspect that a custody dispute is looming, consult with an experienced custody lawyer. Doing so may prevent the dispute from turning into contentious litigation.

Contact a Dallas Custody Lawyer

If you have additional questions or concerns about how to prepare for summer vacation as a divorce parent, or if you are concerned about a potential custody dispute relating to summer vacation, contact an experienced Dallas custody lawyer at Rita M. Boyd, P.C. to discuss your legal rights and options by calling 972-380-8000 to schedule your appointment today. 

Dallas Bar Association C.A.R.E. Tarrant County Bar Association Texas Family Law Foundation South Texas College of Law Texas Bar College

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Contact Information:

Rita M. Boyd, Attorney
Law Office of Rita M. Boyd, P.C.
5057 Keller Springs Road
Suite 300
Addison TX 75001
Phone: 972-380-8000
Email: Email Rita
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*Rita M. Boyd is not certified by Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Rita Boyd invites you to contact her and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting Rita does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to her until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

What Rita's Clients Say

We had a contested, adversarial hearing. Rita Boyd was totally prepared. She used her creativity, knowledge of the law, and finesse to my distinct advantage. I walked out of the court room knowing the Judge had heard my side of the story.

  -- Tony L., Navasota, Texas

Rita Boyd is very creative in her thinking. She was a catalyst to me to rethink what was best for me, my wife and my children. She has made my family's life easier in a situation with dishonorable (criminal) people on the other side with nothing better to do than mess with us.

  -- Tony L., Navasota, Texas