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Are you ready for your summer custody schedule?

Summer is just around the corner, and while you might be excited for weekends at the beach and your kids can be thrilled to be out of school, summer can be a difficult time for families who have a custody schedule to follow.

If this sounds like you, you should already have some idea of what to expect during the summer months, as it should have been addressed in your parenting plan. However, there are some snafus that can still arise. 

Summer snafu #1: unplanned vacations. Taking off for a long weekend or hopping on a plane for a last-minute getaway can seem like a great idea in theory. However, these can cause massive complications if you share custody. If you leave town unexpectedly and the other parent doesn't know, that could create tension if a troubling issue arises while you're gone. If you leave with your child without notifying the other parent, it could be construed as kidnapping or at least a custody agreement violation. To avoid this, prioritize communication with the other parent when it comes to your travel plans.

Summer snafu #2: adjusting to longer parenting times. Summer schedules not restricted by school. This means that a child could spend much more time with one parent during the summer or spend longer stretches of time with each parent. Prepare for this by discussing the change with your children and being patient as they -- and you -- work to adjust to the situation.

Summer snafu #3: falling into lax attitudes. You and/or the other parent might fall into some bad habits during the summer, like frequently adjusting custody exchanges, letting the kids stay up too late or opting for ice cream for dinner instead of a more balanced meal. While these types of decisions may be fun or preferable in the relaxing haze of summer, they can lead to complications down the road. Being too lax in the summer could make it very difficult for you and your kids to get back on track come fall.

These are just a few issues that can arise during the summertime. Hopefully you can avoid them by being prepared and keeping communication open, but if custody disputes do arise, discussing your options with an attorney sooner, rather than later, will be crucial.

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