Allocation of the children’s time during the holidays and vacations can be difficult. If you share custody with the other parent of your children, you’ve already agreed to a parenting plan that includes a visitation schedule. However, holidays and vacations can present special problems. Many unexpected issues can arise, such as activities that involve the children traveling relatively far from home. Although there is room for compromise, you’ll need to be sure to stay in compliance with your legal responsibilities under your plan.
Your particular parenting plan may require that you give notice to the other parent and possibly obtain their permission for any deviation from the established visitation schedule. The plan might tell you whether you must ask about out-of-state travel and might include specific distances you can travel without permission. If your plan requires that you ask for permission from the other parent, make sure to do so. You may even want to get permission via email or text so that you have a record that you received permission in case that is ever contested in the future. Ask as early as possible in advance of the holiday or vacation so that there is ample time to negotiate or to seek dispute resolution if needed.
Even if you don’t have to get permission, be sure to provide any required notice to the other parent. Also, meet any timing requirements (e.g., five days in advance) and other conditions that might be in your plan. Even if you don’t have to get permission or give notice, it’s still a good idea to do so. It will help build your co-parenting relationship and create credibility for the future.
Keep in mind that your parenting plan is a court order and failing to follow it can lead to a citation for contempt of court, which in turn can result in fines and even lead to a reduction of your parenting time. If you are having disagreements with the other parent over visitation for vacations or holidays, consult with a skilled family law attorney to help you obtain the effective resolution you seek.
At the Henry Law Firm, P.A. in Overland Park, Kansas, we are experienced in helping divorced parents maintain loving relationships with their children through workable parenting plans. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.