Sorting Out Summer Parenting Time Issues

parental rightsQuestion:

I am the custodial parent of my son, but his mother has visitation rights.

He left last week to spend the summer with her and I am already receiving calls regarding him staying there during the school year. What should I do to prevent this from happening?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and am unable to give you legal advice, I can give you some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Virginia, the parent has the rights to the child so long as the court order gives them rights. What that means, is if the order specifically states that the mother only has the child for the summer, and she tries to keep the child longer than the summer, she will be in contempt of court.

She will also be liable for parental kidnapping and you can call the police and ask them to return your child. The important part is knowing what the court order says. If there is no court order, then you may have to go to court to litigate the matter.

Child custody is very fact-specific and requires a specialized knowledge of local law. For these reasons I would suggest you contact an attorney who specializes in family law matters in your jurisdiction.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on custody, so please contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws of your state and how they impact your case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss custody rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Sorting Out Summer Parenting Time Issues

    Our experience is that contempt of court means nothing! The x has been in contempt for many things but courts don’t do anything but slap her hand and then she goes off and does what she wants anyway. Unless they fine her or give the father custody to show her they mean business she won’t change and definitely won’t care. She’s a therapist and know how the courts act. She has done everything in contempt from taking the oldest to a doctor for strong anxiety medicine and biofeedback sessions without the fathers knowledge to filing her weekly summer vacation 15 days after the deadline date and daring the dad to do anything about it like deny her the vacation time. The one time he filed contempt the judge waived it and told her to put the $15,000 back in the bank because he felt sorry for mothers trying to raise kids alone. Later he was reminded it was joint custody and she had no debt – the father was paying everything while they went through the divorce. All the judge did was say, “Hum.” She still got off without any penalty and the contempt was stricken from the record. They need to change the chopped up custody plan but given the judges sympathetic attitude towards women, it could be another waste of money!

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