The summer break offers an excellent opportunity for kids to have fun, but it may not be as exciting for divorced parents. Children are more active during the break, so their needs may differ slightly. The first step to enjoying the summer break with your kids is to create a child custody and visitation plan that meets the whole family’s needs. Here are tips for developing a summer custody plan. Be sure to speak with a New York City child custody lawyer if you are not sure about the best custody arrangements in your unique legal situation.
- Develop a Structure
The New York parenting guidelines can be a valuable tool for creating a summer custody schedule. You don’t have to fill in the form, but it can make a basis for outlining the primary components of the plan. In addition, it is easy to customize the document, and it could ultimately become part of the court order if you go through the legal process.
- Stick with the Agreed Plan
The set plan should specify the duties and responsibilities of each parent during the summer break. Although there may be room for adjustments, staying committed to the agreed schedule is advisable. If you change plans abruptly, don’t expect your ex and children to be compliant. For example, if your ex-partner had visitation rights for the weekend, but plans arose suddenly for your kids to visit your parents, you should prioritize the visitation rights first.
- Be Open-minded
Since your plans may constantly change, you and your partner should work to fit in with the unexpected changes. For instance, if your ex-spouse takes the children to visit their grandparents but they happen to stay for a few days longer, ensure you try to accommodate this sudden change of plans.
- Get Input from the Children
The summer visitation and custody schedule will ultimately depend on your children’s needs. If they can express their wishes, try to include these needs in the pan. Whether your child prefers staying in your ex-partner’s neighborhood or spending time with friends, ensure you accommodate these needs in your plans. Remember that a summer custody schedule should meet New York’s best interests of the child standard.
Kids who feel their input is considered are more likely to agree to the schedule. However, involving kids of the right age is advisable in the decision process. Unlike preteens and teenagers who can find it simple to choose what they want, toddlers may be unable to participate in decision-making.
- Consider Legal Options if there are Challenges.
If you and your spouse disagree on the custody and visitation plan, you will have to weigh your legal options. For instance, you can file a petition to seek the modification of the current schedule in court. The judge will evaluate your needs and those of your ex before deciding.
Schedule a Consultation with New York Child Custody Lawyers
Consulting a New York family law attorney can be an excellent way to create a practical summer visitation and custody schedule. At New York Family Law Group, we are ready to evaluate your situation, help you understand your legal options, and create a clear plan that accommodates everyone. Contact us today whether you need help with the custody negotiation or court representation.