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How do you work vacation around the custody schedule?

Your finally getting used to the parenting schedule and have a good idea of whose weekend is whose. Then summer arrives. The children are out of school, the regular routine is no more and your thinking about a vacation. If you're a divorced parent, you'll need to work your vacation schedule around the custody order and your ex's plans.

The first place to look is your court order. Most custody and parenting time orders today include provisions for either parent to take the children on vacation. It will usually stipulate how long the vacation can be, how much advance notice the parent taking the vacation must provide the other and who gets preference if both parents want to take a vacation at the same time. If you anticipate any issues with any of these terms, it's a good idea to talk to your ex as soon as possible. If that doesn't resolve matters, you may need to talk to an attorney.

It's very important to pay special attention to the terms regarding how much notice you must give your ex and whether you're required to provide any other information such as location, itinerary or temporary contact information. While where you go on vacation may seem like none of your ex's business, when you're taking the children with you it's a common courtesy to let the other parent know where you will be and what to do if they need to contact you in the meantime.

Even when you're on vacation, you may need to make some allowances for your children to call their other parent if they want. If they'll be missing a few visits with the other parent, they may miss them more than usual and need extra reassurance.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Making the Most of Your Visitation Schedule," accessed July 15, 2016

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