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Child custody during summer months may need modification

For divorced parents in New Jersey, navigation of child custody during the summer months may be tricky. While abiding by the court-ordered child custody agreement at other times may not be a problem, for each parent to make the most of the time with his or her children at this time may require careful planning and communication -- and, sometimes, compromise. If a parent wants to deviate from the existing summer visitation orders, changes must be discussed timely.

If the other parent does not agree with altered plans, it may be necessary to file a motion to modify the child custody order in a family court, and that may take weeks -- or even months -- to accomplish. It is also important to keep in mind that a parent should not travel with a child without the other parent's authorization. All traveling plans, along with a full itinerary, should be presented to the other parent.

As in all child custody matters, the best interests of the child must be the primary concern. Younger children may find it difficult to be away from the custodial parent for long periods. If possible, it might be arranged for that parent to make short visits during this time, or if distance is an issue, regular phone calls, emails or even video calls may be advisable.

A New Jersey parent who finds it difficult to draft a summer visitation plan that will allow fair access to the child may want to utilize the services of an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may be able to suggest a qualified family law mediator who can facilitate negotiations. If all attempts to negotiate fail, an attorney can assist in filing a motion to modify the child custody order.

Source: sierramadreweekly.comy, "Navigating Child Custody During Summer Months", Casey Marticorena, Don Schweitzer, April 27, 2016

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