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Special custody considerations for the summer months

Summer is approaching, and that means most children in the Phoenix area will be off of school. Likewise, many parents will use the summer to take some time off from work and either explore all that Arizona has to offer in the way of natural beauty or travel somewhere else for vacation.

For those parents who are living separately, the summer months can present some important issues when it comes to parenting time and child custody. Generally speaking, vacations, time away from school and, for that matter, the summer holidays take priority over the ordinary parenting time schedule, that is, the schedule parents follow when school is in session.

As with other situations involving parenting time, good communication between the parents is important, especially when one of the parents is traveling with the children for a vacation. At a minimum, there should be some provision for how much advance notice the parent who is not going on the vacation will receive, as well as when and how much detail that parent will get about the vacation plans. It is also generally a good idea for the other parent to be able to reach his or her children during the vacation, if only to give the children a chance to talk to them.

Even when parents generally are getting along, it is important that their parenting plan lay out how long vacations will be, how parents will choose the dates and the like. That way, both parents know what to expect, and there are less likely to be nasty surprises that can wind up derailing vacation plans or, perhaps worse, leading the parents back to the courtroom for further litigation. An experienced family law attorney can help parents nail down their vacation arrangements with their children.

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