Now that summer is in full swing, you may be wondering: how does visitation work during summer vacation? After all, you’d love to spend more time with your kids and take them on trips with you. However, you aren’t sure if you’ll legally be able to. No matter what, you want to guarantee that you’re following the law when it comes to summer break and visitation.
Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC in Houston, Texas are certified in mediation, take a collaborative approach with their clients to ensure that their clients reach solutions that work for their families, and are devoted entirely to the practice of family law. We are fierce advocates for our clients and we’d be happy to assist you with your summer visitation and child custody concerns. Reach out to us today for an initial consultation.
In your child custody agreement, you may have worked out a plan with the custodial parent where they get to spend more time with the children during the school year, and you get more time with them during summer vacation. There is a summer possession schedule, and if you live within 100 miles from your children it’ll last 30 days. If you live more than 100 miles away from your children, then you receive 42 days with them.
Keep in mind that the visiting parent – the one who does not normally have custody – has to give the other parent their requested dates for an extended summer possession schedule by April 1. You will specify the 30 days you want to spend with your children. If you do not meet the April 1st deadline, then the 30 days will automatically be scheduled from July 1 through July 31. If you have 42 days, then you can see your children from June 15 to July 27. Visitation will begin and end at 6 p.m. on the first and last days.
Let’s say you’re the custodial parent, and you want to see your children at some point during the 30 or 42 days they are with the non-custodial parent. You can choose any weekend, which would be Friday at 6 p.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m., during the extended summer period of possession to see your children, as long as you give the non-custodial parent written notice by April 15.
There is one time where a holiday could get in the way of your plans, and that’s Father’s Day. Let’s say the non-custodial parent is the father. He has the right to have possession of the children on Father’s Day weekend from Friday at 6 p.m. until the following Monday at 8:00 a.m.
Whenever you are working out an agreement with your co-parent, you need to be as amicable as possible. Understand that things do come up, especially during the summer when schedules are a little more flexible. Always get in touch with your child custody lawyer if issues arise so you can stay on top of them and resolve them in a friendly manner. Don’t ever get angry or vengeful with your co-parent, because that could reflect poorly upon you in a child custody hearing.
It is also a good idea to send the co-parent information on where you and the children are going to be for the summer, especially if you’re traveling. Let them know about your travel arrangements such as your flight and hotel information just in case something happens.
When it comes to summer vacation, you also have to plan ahead so you can have your extended summer possession schedule in by April 1. Otherwise, you may not be able to enjoy the vacation you want with your children. If you’re taking them out of the country or far away from their home for a trip, then get in touch with your lawyer and see if you need to get any sort of special permission to go on this kind of vacation. Additionally, collect any documents you need for travel, such as your children’s passports, ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to get everything together.
If you recently got divorced and this is one of your first trips without your co-parent, then you’re going to need to make sure your kids are as comfortable and happy as possible. You could ask them where they want to go during the extended time together. It’s also critical to be sensitive to their needs and emotions, especially if the divorce happened recently. They may act out by throwing tantrums, for instance, so just be prepared to handle that. You may need a lot of patience, especially if this is your first time going on a trip without the co-parent.
You’ll want to book child-friendly accommodations and plan plenty of activities for your children, too. While it may be fun for you to go on a bus tour, your kids might find it to be boring and wish they were at a water park instead. Keeping an open mind about your plans and putting your children first is going to make your trip that much more meaningful and memorable.
If you have child custody needs, you can reach out to Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC for help. We’ll work hard on your summer visitation agreement and be your source of support in your time of need. Make sure you get in touch online or by calling us at (713) 333-4430. We look forward to hearing from you.
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