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Who gets the kids on the Fourth of July?

Most schools in Michigan and throughout the country are currently on summer break. Perhaps your children have a busy summer planned with sports camps, scouting expeditions or a beach trip. Then again, you might be one of many parents who look forward to down time in the summer, sitting on the porch or around a campfire, having movie nights at home, and simply enjoying quiet and relaxation. The latter might be next to impossible if you and your ex are battling over holidays such as Independence Day, birthdays or other occasions.

This week, many local venues will be shooting off fireworks. People will be partying and celebrating the good ol' U.S. of A. As long as you took time to incorporate holiday details in your co-parenting plan, everything should be okay. If you didn't or even if you did but a problem arises, it's good to know where to seek support so you can find a swift solution and not have your Fourth of July or other holiday ruined.

The more details, the better

Maybe you and your ex were trying to be polite, so you smiled and said you'd be in touch to figure out a holiday plan. Spontaneity has a place in life, but in the midst of summertime co-parenting plan, it might be better to write out the terms of your agreement and get the court's approval. Don't hesitate to include "fine print," such as stating that you and your co-parent will alternate years for taking the kids to fireworks.

Plans might need adapted for different kids

While your summertime or holiday co-parenting plan might include some general instructions, such as stating that the kids will spend every other Fourth of July or birthdays at their other parent's house, the ages of your children might prompt you to write separate terms for certain occasions.

For instance, perhaps your teenagers will spend the entire summer at your ex's house but your younger children will travel back and forth every other week. It wouldn't be uncommon for parents to agree to let older children travel by airplane on their own if parents live a long distance apart, while younger children would likely need other arrangements.

No-go issues are an important part of your summer plan, too

Are there certain things you simply do not want to agree to regarding holidays or summer co-parenting plans? What if you and your children feel strongly about spending every single Fourth of July together? You might want to include specifics in your parenting agreement, stating what types of things you wish to prohibit.

Maybe you don't want your children traveling overseas without you or you don't want them exposed to a new romantic partner in your ex's life unless you meet him or her first. You can incorporate boundaries and no-go issues into your co-parent agreement. With clear communication and a strong support network, you can focus on building new memories for Fourth of July and other holiday seasons instead of arguing over where your kids should be.

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