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When kids are out of school for the summer, parents may have big plans for spending time together. From road trips to summer getaways, camping to family barbeques, the summer is the perfect time to get in quality time with your kids. But for parents who are divorced, the summertime can be stressful, as parents may have a number of questions about their visitation rights. Here’s a look into what you need to know about summer break visitation after divorce in Illinois:

1. Refer to Your Parenting Schedule

At the time that you got divorced, you and your ex-spouse likely submitted a parenting schedule to the court that outlined each of your responsibilities and rights regarding time spent with your child. There’s a strong chance that your parenting schedule not only addressed how time would be shared during the school year, but how custody during holidays and the summer break period would be shared as well. If your parenting schedule includes a strict schedule for the summertime, you are obligated to adhere to it. If you need to request a change, you can ask your ex-spouse to accommodate your needs, but they are not legally required to do so.

2. Talk and Compromise

If your parenting schedule does not include a plan for the summertime (or if it does but you want to request a change), you should plan on talking to your ex-spouse and trying to reach a compromise about how time will be shared. If you are on good terms with your ex-spouse, this may be easy to do. When you approach your ex-spouse, some tips for talking include:

  • Have a plan ready to present;
  • Express your reasons for your proposed plan;
  • Be amicable and ask – don’t demand parenting time; and
  • Be willing to compromise – if your ex-spouse has something specific in mind for parenting time over the summer, be willing to consider it and work with them to strike an arrangement that works for everyone.

3. Turn to the Court

If compromise is impossible and you need to request a modification of a parenting schedule, or if there was no schedule in place for the summertime and your ex-spouse is denying you time with your child, you may need to turn to the court. This should be a last resort option as going to court is expensive, time consuming, and often contentious and divisive. In all cases, working with your ex-spouse to reach a compromise out of court is always ideal.

Our Parenting Time Lawyers Are Here to Help

At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we know that understanding your rights regarding spending time with your child during the summertime can be confusing, and that in some cases, reaching a compromise can be very frustrating. We encourage you to work with your ex-spouse, and to always put your child’s best interests first.

If you need legal support or have questions about your parenting agreement, please call our law firm for a consultation today. You can reach us by phone, or request your appointment by sending us a message.