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Child custody: Kansas parents do well to plan for summer

Many Kansas parents know what it's like to have a child who waits until the very last moment to get his or her school assignments done. Nothing causes stress quite like those late-night trips to the craft store to try to gather needed supplies for a project that is due the next day, which the child in question "forgot" to mention ahead of time. Children are not the only ones who have problems like this; in fact, divorced parents who neglect to discuss summer plans often encounter tremendous stress and chaos related to their child custody plans.

Good parents always have their children's best interests in mind, especially when divorce occurs. However, there are so many issues to resolve regarding custody, visitation and support that it is possible to overlook some of the more subtle issues, such as which parent will take the kids on vacation, and when. Also, children who are home on summer break from school often participate in many outside activities, such as sports, camp or supplemental academic programs. It is essential for parents to work out a plan that covers transportation and financial provisions for these things.

Parents who discuss summer plans far in advance and are willing to be fair and flexible in their schedules have the greatest chance of avoiding summer co-parenting stress. Legal issues can be covered in a court order, such as specific terms and instructions regarding summer travel plans or day care information in situations where both parents work outside the home. If parents agree to hire an in-home caregiver, it is a good idea to have a backup plan incorporated into the agreement, in case the babysitter is unable to be there on a particular day.

Child custody plans that are thoroughly written with terms that are clearly defined can help Kansas parents avoid legal problems in summer. However, even the best-written plans may not cover every issue, as unexpected changes often occur in life. If a parent is having trouble resolving a particular issue, he or she may ask an experienced family law attorney to review the case and provide guidance and support, as needed.

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