For parents in Virginia, child custody and visitation plans can be complicated. This is especially true in the summer when children are out of school, and each parent wants the opportunity to enjoy various activities with them. Whether it is a separation, or the divorce is finalized, parents should be aware of the challenges involved with navigating a workable schedule.
How to effectively handle summer visitation
Although it can be stressful, there are effective ways to handle summer child visitation. The child custody and visitation agreement should be referred to before making any decisions. In general, parents cannot make significant changes unilaterally. Trying to do so can lead to acrimony and inevitable legal challenges. The plans should be assessed from the perspective of both parents. Being empathetic to the other parent can be helpful and may smooth an attempt to negotiate a mutually advantageous solution.
There may be an event the child wants to attend. One parent may have an event with his or her side of the family and wants to bring the child. There are many reasons to adjust the parenting plan in the summer. Parents who are no longer together may be able to set aside their personal feelings and focus on their child. Even parents who are on friendly terms can experience tension with child-related issues. If the relationship is acrimonious, it can be harder to forge a plan for the summer and have it deviate from the schedule. Still, exchanging ideas and showing flexibility can be beneficial.
Navigate summer child custody and visitation with professional help
A parent who hopes to adjust a child custody and visitation agreement to account for summer plans, like a two-week vacation, will want to reach common ground. The other parent may be amenable to short-term changes if there is a trade of parenting time or other considerations. Before moving forward without approval or getting into a contentious dispute, it is useful to discuss the matter and have a firm basis in the law with advice from experienced professionals.