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Summer Visitation Dos and Don'ts

It's summertime, which means children are out of school for the break. For children of divorce, this typically means they will visit their non-custodial parent for an extended period. This is an excellent opportunity for children to spend extra time with the parent they don't see as often.

Both parents should follow some dos and don’ts when it’s time for summer visitation to ensure a smooth and calm process for both the parent and the child. Keep reading to find out what parents should keep in mind when it’s time for visitation.

Do:

Be Flexible

Willing to compromise and cooperate with the other parent on visitation issues can lead to peaceful co-parenting. For example, both parents should give the other parent advanced notice if there are any changes in the schedule so they can plan accordingly.

Keep a Routine

Children need routine and structure. Living in two homes already disrupts the child’s routine. Therefore, both parents should agree on the same rules for mealtimes, bedtimes, and chores. This ensures there is consistency in the child’s life. Additionally, research has shown that children greatly benefit from co-parents taking a unified parenting approach.

Be Respectful

It’s important for both parents to treat each other with respect. When it comes to seeing each other during the drop off time, this means putting aside any ill-feelings and being courteous towards each other. Being respectful also means letting the other parent know about the child's whereabouts during visitation. Co-parenting can be hard, but remaining respectful will help maintain positive relationships between the child and the parent.

Don’t:

Expose the Child to Conflict

Children should not be put in the middle of their parent’s issues. If parents have problems with each other, they should deal with them away from the child. For example, during visitation never speak badly about the other parent. When parents speak negatively about the other, they create a hostile environment for the child. When children are involved in their parent’s conflict, it can promote feelings of insecurity and helplessness for the child.

Travel Out of the State or Country Without Permission

If parents want to take a trip with their children outside of the state or country, they should first get approval with the other parent or the court if necessary. Not following to do this can result in legal action like being banned from traveling with the child in the future.

Refuse a Court Request

If the court orders a parent to return the kids to the other parent at a specific time, they need to make sure they follow the order. Refusing any court requests, even if it’s for a good reason, can look bad in the eyes of the court. If one parent ever decides to pursue full custody, refusing court orders could be used as evidence against the parent.

Summer should be a fun and relaxing time for both children and parents. Peaceful co-parenting, being flexible, following routines, and sticking to court orders can help foster a positive environment for all parties involved.

If you need help with your visitation plan, feel free to call Epperson Law Group, PLLC at (704) 200-9278.