As summer approaches and schools begin to resume activities across the country, Colorado residents may have begun thinking about summer activities for their children. The discussion of where to enroll children can become complicated if the parents are divorced. If only one parent has physical and legal custody of the children, then he or she alone makes these important decisions and does not have to consult anyone. However, this is rarely the case—courts generally award physical and legal custody to both parents and this means they have to make these decisions jointly.
If both parents have legal custody, that means they must jointly make important decisions about their children’s welfare. One parent making a decision regarding summer activities may end up violating the custody agreement and land that parent in hot water.
Therefore, the first place to look for guidance is the parenting plan. It is also important to see who has custody over the summer. It is possible the document does not cover summer activities or only includes agreed upon activities and cost sharing across them. In that situation, parents will have to communicate with one another as to what they want and can afford. Having these conversations before enrolling children in a costly camp ensures parents don’t over extend themselves legally or financially.
Many parenting agreements alternate summers or summer months, giving one parent physical custody of the children during that time. While parents may take this as license to travel the world with their children without informing the other party, this is rarely possible. If one parent wants to leave the country with the children, they should let the other parent know. Additionally, many parenting plans require one party to notify the other about travel plans by a certain date. Again, checking the custody agreement or parenting plan is essential to ensure conflicts don’t arise.
A parenting plan is an essential component of a custody agreement in a divorce, and it is important to ensure it is a comprehensive document. With an experienced attorney’s guidance, it is possible to make sure that it is a wide-ranging document.