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Child Custody and Vacations on Long IslandThe final school bell has rung in Long Island elementary and high schools, you’re children are going to be home for the next 2-1/2 months and now you have to figure out how your divorce and child custody agreements pertain to summer vacations.

Summer days get longer, people are generally happier (likely due to that extended sunlight), and children get to play outside until sunset.

If you are going through, or recently went through a divorce, the onset of your children’s summer vacation can cause you anxiety rather than relaxation. Because your divorce agreement likely sets forth a child custody arrangement, you may be wondering how these procedures will affect the children’s summer vacation. Naturally, you would like to take your vacation time when you can spend meaningful time with your children, but did you put that in your child custody agreement? Are you able to have your children with you for an uninterrupted week or two so you can maybe go away with them. Or, even if you can’t afford to stay out of town, can you just get some uninterrupted time when you can take day trips without having to worry about having them back in time for your ex’s visitation?

How Can We Avoid Problems With Summer Vacation and Custody?

If you are currently going through a divorce, it is important to discuss this matter with your divorce attorney. If the divorce agreement is not yet finalized, you and your partner can come to a mutual agreement regarding the children’s summer vacations. The agreement does not have to be specific to summer, it can be applicable to any school vacations the children may have.

At this point, you may agree that during the summer, the typical yearly custody schedule will be dispensed with. For example, if there are 10 or 12 weeks of summer, you and your partner could agree that you will get the children for six weeks, and your partner for the other six.

It would be wise to include the dates in the divorce agreement, this way, when the time comes, there is no room for error or alleging a miscommunication. Furthermore, having advance notice of the summer dates during which you will have custody of your children will allow you to schedule your own work vacation and any family vacation time around those dates.

On the other hand, you and your partner may decide to simply allot “vacation time” in the divorce and child custody agreements. In this instance, both you and your partner would be entitled to a specified amount of time per year deemed “vacation time.” The parent, at any point that the children are off of school, may then make use of this allotted time for trips or other quality events such as weekends away. If you and your partner do decide to allot vacation time, you should also make note in the divorce agreement if you do not want this time used on certain occasions, such as holidays or birthdays.

Do I Need Permission from My Ex-Spouse to Travel Out of State with Our Children?

There is no provision of New York’s Domestic Relations Law (which governs marital relationships and divorces), that imposes a duty on either parent to notify their ex-spouse if they plan to travel out of state with the children during scheduled visitation time. However, although there is no requirement placed on you by the State of New York to inform your ex-spouse if you plan a trip to Disney World, one may be created upon you by your specific divorce agreement.

As always, your divorce agreement controls the interactions between you and your ex-spouse and can expose you to liability for failure to comply with its terms. Even if your divorce agreement does not impose such an obligation, informing your ex-spouse of out-of-state travel plans will help foster a civilized relationship between you and make future interactions easier. Do not forget, if you have children together you will likely be in contact with each other for the rest of your lives, it is important to treat each other with respect from the beginning.

What Does This Mean For Me?

If your divorce is not yet finalized, do not forget to discuss the matter of vacation time with your Long Island divorce attorney. Having dealt with these issues numerous times, your divorce attorney will likely have experience with a number of creative, and practical solutions.

If, on the other hand, your divorce agreement is already finalized and these provisions are not included, or the current child custody provisions make vacation time impossible, be sure to discuss any options you have for modifying the agreement with your divorce attorney as this may require court involvement.

Questions About Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island?

To learn more about what you need to know about Child Custody on Long Island, visit this page on Child Custody or contact us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary consultation.

Long Island Divorce Attorneys are Here to Help

The experienced and compassionate Long Island divorce attorneys at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. have dealt with all sorts of Divorce and Child Custody issues, both before agreements are signed and modifying them after. If you have questions about your divorce agreement or child custody arrangements, give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll arrange for a convenient time for you meet us in a free initial consultation to discuss your issues.