Summer time can raise additional child custody issues for co-parents due to extra holidays and vacation time. The summer is book-ended by Memorial Day and Labor Day, with 4th of July in the middle. Summer is also a time for family vacations to the beach, mountains or camping. When a family is a unit, vacation is taken all together. With a split or divorce, coordinating vacation time can be a bit trickier. Mom and Dad may want the same week with the children or the same holiday for that BBQ. While children get an extra vacation, parents may get an extra headache.

Here are two key concepts to keep in mind during the summer when dealing with your ex about shared custodial time. Follow these tips and and avoid ending up back in family court:

1. Communicate
Give the other party notice of your trip. Tell them fully where you are going, the dates you will be traveling, how you will be traveling (air, car, etc.), the address and phone number of the place you will be staying. If you let them know where you and the children will be for the entire vacation, it will show your up-front honesty and give peace of mind.

Put all of your communications about your vacation plans with your children to the other party in writing. Email is the best way to capture your conversation should there ever be a dispute.  You will have documentation of what was discussed and agreed upon.

2. Compromise
Be flexible with your child’s other parent. If they are willing to give you your desired week or holiday, consider doing the same for them. If you make a concession for Memorial Day, then feel free to ask for Labor Day time. Your children will thank you for coming to an agreement outside of the custody courts.