As summer approaches, this is a good time to discuss and have a summer custody agreement with the other parent of your children. In Ohio, the court allocates parental rights and responsibilities following separation or divorce. This includes requiring that the separated or divorced parents discuss and agree on a Parenting Plan. At VanNoy Firm, we have dedicated custody lawyers who can help parents in Dayton, Ohio in crafting a parenting plan schedule that considers the various activities that take place during summer, such as summer camps, vacations, perhaps summer school, and more.
In most cases, both parents work together to agree on a schedule that fits their lives as well as that of their kids. It is important, however, even in a case you have an agreement on the summer visitation schedule and are totally in agreement to nonetheless put that in writing and have it filed with the court. It may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but in the end, it protects you and your children should something arise down the road.
For example, a parent who has the kids for part of the summer does not bring back the kids at the end of the agreed time. Without a summer custody order from the court, there is nothing much the other parent can do, and even the police will not do much, but they can if there is a court order reflecting the summer agreement.
Agreeing on the summer visitation schedule is all between the parents, and the court will generally go along with whatever is agreed to if it does not have adverse effects on the children. However, if the parents cannot agree on a summer schedule, or any other matter, the court will intervene and make those decisions for them.
What matters to the court the most is the children’s interest, and this is determined under a standard commonly referred to as what is in the “best interest of the child” or children if there is more than one. In this context, the court usually tries to find a way to encourage a cordial relationship between both parents as that helps in making sure the best interests of the children are taken care of.
In your summer schedule agreement, you should include a few caveats. For example, your summer custody agreement could stipulate your ex will have the children for two continuous weeks during the summer. The ex is allowed to pick any of the two weeks during summer, but you should require that they provide you with written notice of their preferred dates 90 days in advance.
In sum, think about every contingency you can that could affect the time you wish to spend with your children during the summer and have that addressed in your summer visitation agreement. If you can’t think of any, at least put down what your priorities are and see to it that your ex agrees, and you put that down in writing.
It is normal not to anticipate some of the things that creep up as problems down the road. To make sure you have all the angles covered with your summer visitation schedule, contact our Dayton office today and speak to a dedicated attorney.
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