How to handle planned vacations to minimize disputes

Minnesota parents who share children but who do not live with each other often have custody and parenting time issues that arise. Spring and summer breaks may especially be problematic as the parents plan vacations for their children. There are some steps that parents can take to try to minimize disputes so that they and their children can enjoy their vacations.

When parents are separated, it is very important that they plan their vacations far in advance. This allows the other parents to plan their own vacations so that the vacation times don't conflict. The communication about vacation plans should be completed in writing so that there is a written record. This is very important in case a parent later tries to modify the orders because a vacation deviated from the normal child custody routine.

Giving substantial notice to the other parents about vacations also allows the parents plenty of time to iron out any differences that they might have about the plans. When an agreement is reached, it is important to send reminders to the other parent as well.

When the other parent is very difficult and refuses to agree to the planned vacations, the parent might want to seek help from family law attorneys. The lawyers may be able to negotiate agreements for their clients that allow them to take their children on vacation. If it is not possible to reach an agreement, the lawyers may then file a motion to modify the existing child custody and visitation orders or agreements with the courts that have jurisdiction. In some cases, the attorneys may be able to reach resolutions through alternative dispute resolution procedures. In others, the lawyers may have to litigate the issue in court in order to secure a fair and reasonable vacation time procedure that both parents must follow.

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