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Custody agreements and summer vacation planning

While a custody agreement may take summer vacations into account, California divorced parents are left to work out the details in light of those provisions. Some parenting plans are general in their provisions, which makes timely communication an important factor in establishing a plan for summer vacation that complies with the parenting agreement. A decent amount of advance notice is customary to ensure that both parents and the children can plan as needed.

Some issues can arise in connection with summer parenting time and vacation planning. For example, a shared custody arrangement for the summer might result in questions about child support matters. Although parents might justify withholding parenting time because of non-payment of child support, it is against the law to do so. Similarly, non-custodial parents might view payment of support as unnecessary if their child will be with them for an extended period of time during the summer. However, the terms of the agreement or the court order might not allow this. A parent should generally try to take advantage of allotted parenting time for the benefit of the child.

Misunderstandings of a parenting plan could lead to interference with visitation plans. Although the finer details of summer vacation might not be addressed, a commitment to cooperating for the sake of a child's emotional well-being could include being flexible in the face of misunderstandings. At the same time, a parent dealing with serious instances of interference could have grounds for filing a complaint with local authorities if the other parent does not accommodate the established visitation schedule.

In an extreme case of interference with parenting time, a parent might worry about the possibility of child abduction or other serious issues. Advice from a family law attorney might be helpful for determining how to approach enforcement of the parenting plan in such a situation.

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