There are many family situations in South Carolina where one parent has primary or sole custody of their children, while the other parent is a non-custodial parent. This means that the children primarily live with their custodial parent and visit with their non-custodial parent. This is a common arrangement when one parent lives in a different state or lives too far away to make regular visits or joint custody feasible or practical.
Many non-custodial parents are interested in taking their kids on a vacation over the summer. Summer vacations are an aspect of child custody that parents should cover in their parenting plan (S.C. Code, Section 63-15-220). But perhaps it was overlooked when you were preparing your parenting plan, or maybe it is something that you still need to work out with your child’s other parent. How does a non-custodial parent handle getting custody of their child for a summertime trip?
Summer Vacation Custody As Part Of A Parenting Plan
Generally, parents hash out the terms of when and how a non-custodial parent can take the child on a vacation during the summer time as part of their parenting plan. Parenting plans can be as specific or as relaxed as the parents want. Perhaps it is important to the non-custodial parent to have the child for the week of the Fourth of July. This specific time can be carved out for the non-custodial parent to have custody of the child in the parenting plan.
Another option is to include a vacation request procedure in the parenting plan. This would involve laying out ground rules for how the non-custodial parent can make a request for vacation time with the custodial parent. For example, the non-custodial parent might have to communicate their summer vacation intentions with the custodial parent by a certain date, such as May 30th, so that the custodial parent can make arrangements to accommodate the non-custodial parent’s vacation request.
If Summer Vacation Custody Is Not Part Of Your Parenting Plan
It could be that summer vacations were not covered in your parenting plan. In ideal circumstances, the non-custodial parent will work with the custodial parent to come to an agreement about when they may take the child on a vacation over the summer. Hopefully it’s as easy as you asking. But sometimes parents may try to withhold the child from one another. In such cases, you will need to get legal help from an experienced child custody lawyer. You might have to put up a fight, but summertime memories with your children are worth it.
Contact An Experienced Charleston, SC Child Custody Lawyer
When you need help getting custody of your child for a summertime trip, contact the child custody attorneys at McCoy & Stokes, LLC. We can help you through each step of the process.