The summer months are one of the most traveled times in the United States as friends, families, and couples enjoy vacations or casual getaways. For couples who have recently divorced, summer becomes the first time a non-custodial parent spends an extensive amount of time with his or her children. Even though a non-custodial parent may have spent years raising a child before a divorce, the first summer visitation may leave him or her with questions or feelings of uncertainty. Having an understanding of basic etiquette for summer visitation will help improve your chances of navigating this time without running to major problems.

Give Your Ex Advance Warning

In most cases your visitation weeks or months for the summer are outlined in a custody and visitation agreement. Regardless, always talk to your ex in advance about when you are coming to pick up your child. Never assume that your ex will have your child ready or even remember that the visitation is coming up. This is especially important if you have recently changed jobs, experienced a financial setback, or said anything that gave the implication that you were not coming for your scheduled visitation. The last thing you want to deal with is a custodial parent who has planned a vacation with your child and is upset that your seemingly last minute visitation has affected his or her plans.

Be on Time

Once the visit is confirmed, be on time! Arriving to get your child late, especially if you have not seen your child in a long time, starts your visitation off on the wrong foot. Pay especially close attention to time if you are picking your child up from school, a summer camp, or an airport.  When transportation such as an airplane is involved, arriving on time not only avoids arguments, it keeps your child safe. Never risk leaving your child in a strange environment alone.

Expect to Purchase Items for Your Child

After you have confirmed your summer visitation and picked up your child in a timely manner, expect to spend some money on your child. Even if your former partner packs everything he or she thinks the child will need for the summer, you are going to need items for your child that could not be easily transported or were forgotten. Children’s medicine, extra undergarments, snacks, and hygiene items all disappear quickly when a child is in a household that has only supported a single adult. Make sure you have money in your budget to make these purchases throughout the summer.

Double Check Scheduling with an Attorney

If you are not sure about your visitation schedule or your former partner is claiming the schedule is incorrect, contact an attorney. An experienced child support and custody attorney can confirm what the court ordered. In cases in which a custodial parent is refusing to honor the custody agreement, an attorney can help you go through the proper legal channels to reestablish contact with your child. If you or someone close to you needs help to exercise visitation rights, contact the team at Vayman & Teitelbaum. Call us today at 678-736-7700 to schedule a consultation so that we can discuss your needs.