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    Tips for Navigating Shared Custody in the Summer Months

    At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles family law attorneys know that summertime in California kicks off the end of the school year, which can leave parents scrambling to plan family vacations, camp obligations, and other stressful logistics around their custody agreements and parenting plans.

    Here are a few useful tips to help you co-parent during the summer vacation season.

    Check the Child Custody/Visitation Calendar

    All parenting plans are different, so coordinating a family vacation does not fit into a one-size-fits-all solution.

    However, the first step in navigating summer’s suddenly chaotic logistics is physically looking at a calendar and asking yourself if the vacation will impede the other parent’s time with the kids.

    For some, this may already be outlined in their custody agreement. If so, stick to it. There is no reason to rock the boat if the other parent gets a certain two weeks in June. You will just have to plan your vacation around it.

    Plan Your Getaways and Vacations in Advance

    Last-minute trips are perfectly okay on days when you have the kids for the duration of the impromptu journey.

    However, it is seldom helpful to decide to take the kids and go, especially when it interferes with the custody agreement. Or, to allow the kids to go on trips with friends or family members on days when they should be with the other parent.

    All vacations, summer camps, or family trips should be on the shared parenting calendar as soon as they are planned. The longer everyone — the kids included — knows about the plans, the better prepared everyone will be.

    Communicate Openly, Respectfully, and in Writing

    Communicating openly, respectfully, and in writing can lead to fewer misunderstandings and help manage expectations, so everyone understands the plan for the summer.

    For instance, if your kids will be at camp the second week of July, the other parent must know that and have it on their calendar to avoid scheduling conflicts.

    Likewise, before planning the camp trip, the other parent should be aware that the kids will be gone those days, so they do not suddenly find out when they show up for the custody exchange.

    When parents share a custody calendar app, like 2houses, Coparenter, or Cozi, they can communicate in writing, and coordinate schedules with ease. This way, no one can “forget” about agreed-upon plans.

    Be Flexible

    Not everything in life goes as planned. That is doubly true when you have children, and another parent’s scheduled days and overall expectations to manage.

    If the other parent suddenly must work or has a family matter that requires them to postpone or cancel some or all the vacation, be flexible about switching or moving dates.

    Remember that being flexible allows you to develop trust with the other parent and provides the same flexibility in return.

    Contact the Land Legal Group Family Law Attorneys in Los Angeles Today

    If you have questions about your current custody arrangement or would like to talk about getting it modified, contact our skilled child custody attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group today at (310) 552-3500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique needs and to learn how we can help.

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