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Summertime doesn't have to mean child custody problems

There are many parents in Michigan who are preparing to navigate their first summer following divorce. Some will likely encounter several challenges regarding child custody arrangements, especially if both parents have full-time jobs. However, even married parents sometimes face similar issues, and it doesn't necessarily have to mean that summer will be more stress than fun.

When kids see their parents' willingness to cooperate for their sakes, they often try to emulate positive attitudes as well. If everyone can get on the same page as far what the family's goals are and which parent will have the kids at which times during summer break, each person may feel inspired to chip in and help everyone move forward. Realizing that life is not perfect, however, it's always a good idea to know where to seek support if a custody problem or other post-divorce legal issue arises.

Many parents find it helpful to create summertime parenting schedules. Some children might spend their entire summer with one parent or the other, depending on work schedules and personal preferences. Paper trails can serve a purpose with regard to having things in writing in case any disagreement causes problems in a plan.

A Michigan judge must approve all child custody plans for parents who divorce in this state. If a summer plan is not written into an existing court order, parents must seek the court's approval before proceeding, especially if the plan changes the terms of the order in some way. With careful planning and experienced support where needed, parents and children can find their "new normal" after divorce and, perhaps, have their best summers yet.

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