Judge ordered...not clear on it

Our judge ordered ‘Joint Custody’; physical custody w/maternal family; visitations every other weekend and 1 overnight on odd weeks for paternal family; and 4 -6 WEEKS SUMMER VACATION for paternal family. Why does a judge make a vague summer vacation order (4-6 weeks), and what is to be presumed?

Our child is only 2 years old so there is no school schedule to contend with yet. Can the maternal family DICTATE when we (the paternal family) can use our summer vacation time with our child?

Thank you so much for this forum. I have had your site bookmarked for months now, and find all your information to be very educational.


Normally the party who is to have summer vacation will propose certain weeks which they would like to have with the child. If there is not default in the Order (mother’s first choice of weeks prevails in even numbered years, and father’s first choice of weeks prevails in odd numbered years). You may set a hearing and have the judge order which weeks you may have if the mother will not cooperate.

Similar situation and question about your answer. So if the Order is vague and there is an issue, you said to set a hearing. What kind of Motion do you file?

You may file a motion for judicial assistance.

Thank you very much for your answer. As it turned out, we had to file for ‘custody/visitation mediation’ before heading back to court. We had our mediation this morning and it helped to resolve a lot of issues. I can’t say one party was happier than the other because neither one got ALL they wanted. But, that’s what mediation is for…to help come to a ‘meeting of the minds’ or compromise. We worked out 3 holidays a year on the ‘even’ and ‘odd’ calculation, as well as maternal party prevailing on Mother’s Day and biological mother’s birthday, and paternal party has Father’s Day and biological father’s birthday, no matter how the regular visitation is set for those specific days. Summer vacation is set for every other week from June 1st through Aug 15th, unless one party wants something else out of the ‘norm’. Then, with appropriate notification, both can re-arrange’ the summer vacation schedule. During those summer months, regular visitation schedule is put into hibernation so to speak.

Now we wait for the documents to be drawn up to be reviewed and then signed. Once both parties sign the agreement, it goes before a judge to review and sign which then makes the agreement a legal part of the custody order.

All things considered, had the maternal party agreed early on about the now current schedule, we never would have had to go to mediation. They didn’t realize today we had made the same offers in the very beginning, yet today, they ended up agreeing to it anyway. Go figure!!!

Again, thank you for having this forum. I believe it helps many of us keep focused on the real issues…the child(ren) involved in these messy situation.

I am glad to hear that you reached a resolution in mediation. I always encourge folks to try and agree on a schedule as you know your children and their needs better than the stranger on the bench. The result of two parents working together is always the best solution, even if you both did not get everything you wanted. Congratulations! I wish you the best moving forward.