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Addressing custody and visitation needs during summer break

Once school lets out and kids are home for the summer, many families encounter scheduling difficulties. This is especially true for families who have gone through a divorce and where the kids spend time between two households. For those in Maryland who are struggling to work with their former spouse to hammer out a visitation plan for this summer, it can be helpful to step back and take a different approach to the issue.

First, parents should remember that kids only have a set number of summer vacations that they will be able to recall as adults. This special time of year should be filled with fun, and should be a departure from the routines present during the school year. Having the ability to participate in summer activities while also spending time with both parents is important, and parents should focus on that goal, rather than getting caught up in debate over which parent is getting more time than he or she is due.

Second, it is important to recognize that outside factors will guide some aspects of summer vacation. Parents have little control over whether a child is required to attend summer school, or over the timeframe in which a visit to the grandparents can be accomplished. Similarly, if one or both parents wish to take the kids on a vacation this summer, those plans can be hard to change to accommodate a rigid child custody schedule.

Flexibility is key to finding the right balance for custody and visitation issues during the summer  break. That may mean losing out on certain days when a child is scheduled to be home, but it should also mean expecting a similar degree of flexibility when the time comes to request a schedule change from the other parent. When both Maryland parents are willing to compromise, the end result can be a summer full of fun and relaxation for all involved, and minimal strife between parents.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Tips to Prevent Discord While Sharing Custody of the Children Over the Summer", Steve Mindel, June 7, 2016

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