Information you need to know if you want to spend time with your child over the summer
As a father, preserving your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of the divorce process. This includes not only the right to spend time with your children on a regular basis (whether that means splitting parenting time equally with your wife or seeing your children on the weekends) but also the right to take them on summer vacation. Summer vacations can be formative experiences that can create enduring memories, and the ability for you to form these special bonds with your children should not be taken away under any circumstances.
The norms regarding child custody and visitation (now jointly referred to as “parenting time” in New Jersey) are changing. While all custody-related determinations must still be made based upon the best interests of the parents’ children, parents now have more flexibility than ever to create parenting time plans that meet everyone’s needs. So, if protecting your ability to take your children on summer vacations is a priority, this is absolutely something that you should fight for during your divorce.
Protecting Summer Vacation with Your Children During Your Divorce
As with virtually all aspects of the divorce process, developing a parenting time plan that works for you and your wife will be a matter of compromise. Just as you have priorities, so does your wife. By identifying where these priorities conflict, where you are already on common ground, and where you can concede without compromising your ultimate goals, you can develop a plan will work for years to come.
Here are five examples of issues fathers will often need to consider when seeking to protect their right to spend summer vacations with their children:
1. Your Wife’s Desire to Go on Summer Vacations
You may not be the only one who wants to take your children on summer vacations. If your wife wants to take your children on vacations too, it may make sense for you both to agree on reciprocal terms for taking vacations each summer or taking trips on alternating years. Another option is to consider co-parenting, although this won’t work for everyone.
2. Spring Break and Holidays
If you get to take your children on summer vacation, does this mean that your wife gets the kids for spring break? If you want your children for an extended period over summer, are you willing to forego spending time with them on certain holidays? The list of alternatives is almost endless, and the key to securing your desired post-divorce parenting rights will be to make sure that you thoroughly consider all of the options that are available.
How much of a say are you willing to let your wife have in deciding where and when you take your children on summer vacation? Should there be different rules for if you are traveling out of the state or out of the country? Should it be enough for you to provide notice of your intentions, or will your wife insist on having more-detailed information?
While you are on summer vacation with your children, your wife will most likely want the opportunity to speak with them. During the divorce process, you can establish rules around when and how often your wife will be allowed to call to check-in.
5. Camps, Activities, and Other Potential Conflicts
Finally, if your child is scheduled to attend camp over summer, or if he or she will have practices, games, recitals, or other events that conflict with your trip-planning window, you should decide in advance how to address these types of conflicts as well.
Speak with an Attorney at MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family Law of New Jersey by Schultz & Associates, LLC
Would you like more information about protecting your rights as a father during your divorce? If so, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential initial consultation. To speak with an attorney at MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family Law of New Jersey by Schultz & Associates, LLC, call us at 201-654-4263 or request an appointment online today.