Summertime can be a time of freedom and fun for families: sunny days, late evenings, vacations and more. But for children with divorced or separated parents, it can also be a time of anxiety, grief, stress and change with different visitation schedules and disruption of their daily routine. Between daycare arrangements, negotiating extended summer vacations and rearranging custody, summer can be challenging for co-parenting families. We’ve put together a few tips to help make summer as carefree and uncomplicated as possible for you and your children.
The change in your children’s schedule during the summer may also reflect a change in your own. Depending on your situation, you and your former spouse may need to discuss an alternative custody schedule to accommodate any changes. Base your decision on what will work best for the two of you and your children.
Besides planning your own schedules, you should consider what your children will be doing when they are out of school for the summer. You may need to alter your schedule to accommodate any summer activities. It’s better to have these conversations sooner rather than later.
If you can, try to plan your vacations as soon as possible, and discuss the dates with your co-parent well in advance of booking the trip. Once the dates have been decided, be generous with the co-parent about information pertaining to the trip. Let them know where they can reach your children, when they will leave and come home, and any other pertinent details about your trip and travel plans. Think of the important things you would want to know if the roles were reversed, and share accordingly.
Try to be open to alternative plans. If you hope to take your children somewhere the other parent isn’t comfortable with, try to compromise. Remember, the most important thing is the health and happiness of your children, so focus on avoiding conflict whenever possible and remember your common goal.
Communicate with Your Kids
Don’t leave your kids out of the loop. Ask them what they would like to do over the summer. While planning between you and your ex may seem difficult, your children should be the priority. Older children, in particular, may want a say in how they spend their summer. This can help you and your co-parent create a schedule that works for everyone.
Make A Schedule
After having conversations about summer plans for your children, vacations and custody arrangements, it’s a good idea to create a schedule for all of you to reference. Finalize the plans you have discussed and figure out any details you still are undecided on. Factor in your children’s desires, your own vacations and those of your co-parent, and make sure everyone agrees on the final summer schedule.
For help with your divorce or post-divorce legal issues, contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino. JC Law is here to help!