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Planning is critical as summer approaches

Summer is coming. If you're divorced or planning on getting divorced, and you have children, things could get very hectic. The kids will be out of school, with a lot more time on their hands, and life changes drastically for parents.

Experts note that there are a few key things you need to do, starting with making sure that you really understand your obligations and your rights under your divorce agreement. Assumptions can lead to stress, miscommunication and fights.

For instance, you may just assume that it's fine to take your kids on a summer trip, but the reality is that you need to clear it with your ex first because he or she has custody rights, as well, and they could be violated if you up and leave for a few weeks. That doesn't mean you can't take a trip, but you need to cooperate with your spouse and ensure that you're both on the same page. Even if you don't really get along, communication is crucial.

It's also wise to plan ahead for the ways life will change. Questions to ask include:

-- What is the care plan for when you have the kids but you're at work?

-- Who has to pay for this care?

-- If the kids are going to camp or other summer events, are you splitting the cost?

-- Is the amount of time you and your ex have with the kids going to change?

-- If it does, will that impact child support needs and obligations?

As you plan for the summer, it's critical that you know your rights as a parent and the rights and obligations given to you by your divorce agreement.

Source: Planner Search, "Making Summer Plans for Your Kids When You are Divorced," Lili A. Vasileff, accessed March 17, 2017

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