Hey y’all, I’m Paige Navarro. I just wanted to check in. I’m very excited about the summer. Particularly with our existing clients and our potential clients, we understand that summer can be very frustrating, especially if you’re in the middle of a divorce or child custody proceeding. So, I wanted to share with y’all three things that you can do to make your life easier this summer if you’re experiencing custody issues.
Be Flexible with Your Child Custody Orders
#1: Be flexible. Remember that summer is so exciting for your children, and they want to spend time with both parents. I understand it can be hard to imagine going a week or even two weeks without your children. But take advantage of the technology that we have now: FaceTime them. Encourage them. If they have their own cell phones, just send them encouraging texts to let them know it’s okay to have a good time with the other parent.
And be flexible with those telephone calls. Maybe your court order states that you get a telephone call every night at 7:00, but your children are at the beach with your ex-spouse. Well, maybe they’re at dinner at 7:00 and maybe that’s not a great time for them to call you. Shoot them a text, let them call you back when they get back from dinner. Just be flexible with your time and your plans.
Maybe your ex-spouse wants to take the kids to the beach this weekend, and they’ve made this plan in advance. They let you know, and they met the deadlines pursuant to your parenting plan, but now it’s going to rain. And maybe next week is your weekend, and all you have planned is to take them to the movies: something that you could do while it’s raining. Swap the weekends!
Be super flexible with sharing your child custody, because your children don’t want to spend their summer with mom and dad fighting about where they’re going to go. They don’t want to feel like they can’t have a good time with the other parents. So just remain flexible.
When It Comes to Child Custody Orders, Document Issues with Your Ex-Spouse
#2: Document. If you’re in a divorce or a custody proceeding, maybe summer’s not going your way because:
- the other party’s not being flexible;
- they’re not showing up for their visitation time—maybe they’re working and they can’t actually exercise the visit and you’ve had to find other childcare arrangements;
- maybe they’re granted four weeks of summer visitation and they don’t exercise any of it; or
- maybe they get behind on child support because they’re taking vacations.
The important thing to do is to document things. Keep a calendar of any child custody issues you face. Know the judge is probably not going to make a decision based on one instance where your ex-spouse is 15 minutes late for a custody exchange this summer. But if it’s something that’s repeated, and it’s on a calendar, and you’ve kept good dates, times, and notes, then that’s something that we can use in your case to make sure that the judge understands how frustrating summer may have been for you and the issues that you’re actually having.
Protect Your Kids from the Custody Battle
#3: Soak up the time with your children. Maybe this is most important to me because I’m the product of divorced parents—but don’t squander this time. Don’t put them in the middle of your child custody issues. Don’t have them taking messages back and forth between you and your ex-spouse because y’all don’t like to talk to each other. Don’t make your kids feel frustrated because maybe you didn’t let them go to the beach. Or maybe you told them that you can’t go on vacation because you’re paying child support to their mother or their father.
Let them enjoy the summer. It’s their favorite time of the year. Let them be kids and enjoy your time with them. Keep responsible notes and keep in contact with your attorney, if you feel like things are not going your way. But, when you have your kids, don’t talk to them about the litigation. Soak up that time with them and know at the end of the summer, we can work everything out.
If it’s a big deal, give us a call at the office. We’ll be able to help you and guide you through those things. But don’t let litigation overcome the time that you could be spending with your children and the memories that you could be making.
If you are experiencing difficulties in your summer visitation with your ex-spouse or your children’s parent, give us a call at Hall & Navarro: (912) 764-6757 or contact us. And we’ll be happy to help you. Y’all have a great summer.