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3 serious custody issues that could ruin more than your summer

This summer, you may have plans to relax, take a vacation and enjoy more family time. However, these plans -- and much more -- can be turned upside down if you get involved in a serious dispute over custody of your child.

Custody issues can come to a head in summer for many reasons, from the children being out of school to the fact that many people travel more during the summer months. Being prepared for these issues can help you respond appropriately and hopefully keep disputes from ruining your summer, your relationship with your child or your parental rights.

The other parent is not returning your child

Even during the summer when things move more slowly and schedules change, it is crucial for parents to strictly comply with the terms of their custody and visitation plan.

If a parent is not returning your child in accordance with that plan, or if he or she does not come to pick your child up, you may need to take steps to enforce your custody order. This can result in civil or criminal penalties.

You want to travel outside the country

Traveling internationally with your child can invite serious problems, especially if the other parent does not know about it or does not want your child to leave the U.S.

To avoid serious legal fallout, be sure you have permission to leave the country with your child in the first place. Bring necessary documentation with you to present to authorities. You can also share your itinerary with the other parent to alleviate any fears or concerns.

One of you wants to modify the custody order

Custody modifications mean one parent sees an increase in parenting time while the other sees a decrease, which can spark a major fight. And as some statistics suggest, as temperatures rise in the summer, so can tempers.

If you plan to modify a custody order, or if your ex tells you he or she wants a modification, you should consult an attorney right away to discuss your legal options and any protective actions you may want to take.

In fact, if any custody related issues arise this summer, parents should contact an attorney to discuss the situation and their rights sooner, rather than later.

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Evans Family Law
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