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Summer is on the way. Start planning summer break custody now

Every divorced parent in Illinois knows how hard it can be to reach a child custody settlement. There are many things to take into consideration such as holiday arrangements and where the child will reside during the school year. Once parents have made these decisions they often breathe a sigh of relief, but their work is not yet over: There is still summer break from school to think about.

The weather is getting warmer and soon children will be released from their school obligations. Often, both parents wish to spend as much of this carefree time with their kids as possible. Those who have not yet made child custody arrangements for summer break could face unexpected conflict and even legal disputes over the issue.

If you and your former spouse have yet to decide how you will handle summer break, you will benefit from getting started now. Working with an attorney can help facilitate the process and remove much of the conflict through mediation or other services. A lawyer can also assist with any legal issues surrounding the arrangements you make.

After you and your ex have planned a satisfactory summer schedule, you can use these tips to help the summer pass smoothly and without incident.

-- Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your former spouse

-- Make sure you take the child's emotional needs into consideration

-- Avoid making legal decisions without advice from your lawyer

-- If you are responsible for child support payments, do not skip any just because the child is spending more time in your home

-- Consider requesting a child support modification if you need to make support payment changes during the summer schedule

Source: FindLaw: Law and Daily Life Blog, "Child Custody Over the Summer: Dos and Don'ts," Betty Wang, accessed April 19, 2016

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