I have an eight year old boy and his mother has full custody. I have standard visitation. I have planned a trip for this summer and notified his mother of a two week period that I wanted to have my son in the month of July. His mother refused, stating that my son has to attend his sibling's birthday party. I have already booked plane tickets for this vacation. My question is who has the ultimate say in this matter?
You will probably have to tke her to court to enforce your summer rights. The court has the unltimate right to decide and most lkely will decide with you. Consult a family law lawyer ASAP. Do not delay. Every summer the courts are filled with theses types of cases.
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The first step is to make sure you read the decree carefully to see what it says, it may already address scheduling. If not, and you and your ex-wife cannot agree on the dates, then you will need to make a motion to the Court to modify the orders so as to provide when the visitation will take place.
As stated by Ms. Raddatz, you do not want to delay this, or it may be difficult to get a court date prior to the summer visitation or to make changes if needed.
If you and your wife have attorneys, your attorney can file the motion and get a court date, and then try and work it out with your wife's attorney.
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Ultimately, the Court has the final say in the matter. Look closely at the terms set out in the divorce decree/order to determine what your visitation rights are, and specific time frames that may allow or prevent you from planning your trip. Many jurisdictions have suggested visitation schedules that may have been made part of the order in your case. If you find the answer in the order or schedule, explain it to the custodial parent. If that doesn't clear it up, you should consider hiring an attorney and then file a motion for clarification of the order to address the issues of visitation and summer visitation. If the other parent is failing to follow the order, you could also file a motion for contempt.