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3 child custody issues that can ruin your summer

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2023 | Family law

In the aftermath of a recent divorce, it takes time for parents and children to adapt to their new lifestyle. Many Ohio counselors have patients in their waiting rooms who need support because they’re struggling to come to terms with a divorce. If you’re heading into their first summer break since a marital breakup, there are several issues they’ll want to avoid because these issues can spark legal problems and ruin everyone’s summer fun.  

If you plan to travel with your kids this summer, you’ll want to make sure that you do not make child custody mistakes, especially if your divorce isn’t final yet. Some parents have a mindset that says, “They’re my kids. I can do what I want,” which can get them into a heap of legal trouble. Every state has its own divorce and custody rules, and if you filed for divorce in Ohio, then you must adhere to this state’s laws.  

Do not take your children on vacation without providing contact information 

One of the biggest child custody mistakes you can make, whether your divorce is already final or is still in progress, is taking your children on vacation without letting their other parent know how to keep in touch or where the children will be. When you divorce, you and your former partner stop being spouses, but neither of you stops being a parent. Parents have a right to know where their children are, and your ex should be able to communicate with your kids while you’re away. 

Avoid using children to gain advantage in a child custody case 

A parent might think that leaving the state or going on vacation can stall custody proceedings or somehow give him or her an advantage over the other parent. On the contrary, if you leave with your children without notifying your ex, and, in some cases, without having court approval, the judge can hold you in contempt of court. Always seek clarification for Ohio laws and adhere to them.  

If you have sole legal custody of your kids, you don’t have to consult your ex when making decisions on behalf of your children. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to notify your ex when you take your children on vacation, especially to another state.  

Don’t schedule vacation during your ex’s visitation time 

Children fare best in coping with a divorce when their parents work as a team. Being respectful of each other’s parenting time can prevent a lot of child custody problems. If you were to schedule your vacation with your children at a time when they are supposed to be visiting their other parent, not only might your ex get upset but legal problems could arise, and instead of having summer fun, you’ll have a summer full of stress, especially if your ex takes you to court over parenting time. 

To make the most of summer, it’s best to respect your ex’s role as a parent, adhere to Ohio child custody laws, and seek guidance and support for any questions or concerns you have before taking a vacation with your kids.