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The challenges of custody arrangements and summer vacation

After a couple has gone through a divorce and settled child custody arrangements, there can still be challenges that arise. For instance, who gets to take the kids on summer vacation and for how long?

Particularly after a bitter divorce, discussing these issues with an ex-spouse can be challenging. But there are a few things people can keep in mind to make it easier when they are planning family vacations. Here are a few of them.

• Communicate openly. It's always best to let the other parent know what is going on if you are planning a vacation. It's one thing to inform an ex-spouse that you are taking the kids on vacation for the weekend. It's another if you just leave and the ex finds out after the fact.

• Draw up a vacation schedule. If you meet with your ex-spouse and agree to a schedule, you can know what to expect for your children's summer plans. Sometimes it's best if there are no surprises.

• This is more drastic, but parents can set a court date. If you really are concerned that a schedule you come up with must be followed, one option is to draft an agreement and have it approved by a court. Such agreements may limit how long children can be gone, or how far they are allowed to travel.

These are just a few possibilities that could make things easier for planning summer vacation. Of course, using common sense and keeping the welfare of the children in mind is always a top priority.

Source: Huffington Post, "Summer vacation and child custody agreements," Liz Mandarano, July 20, 2012

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