Summer vacation is supposed to be a blissful time for your children. With several months away from school and more time to spend with their family and friends, children look forward to the summertime all year long. Unfortunately, as a divorced or separated parent, summer vacation is far less exciting for you than it is for your children. This is because summer vacation often forces parents to have to figure out an entirely new custody and visitation schedule, which can make co-parenting during this time complicated. Below, we give you a few tips that can help you plan for the summer and have a smooth transition into your new custody arrangement.
Plan Ahead, Don’t Wait For The Last Minute
Hopefully, your parenting plan already accounts for holidays. If not, you should consult with an attorney to discuss how to create one. Even without a parenting plan in place, you still should know when your kids will be getting out of school for summer break, and by then, you should have already spoken to your co-parent about the children’s summer schedule. You can have this conversation in person, over the phone, or if you don’t get along, in a neutral professional’s office.
Involve Your Children In The Planning
Your children want to enjoy all that they can during their summer vacation. In fact, they look forward to it all year. The last thing they want is to be cooped up inside during the break because you and your co-parent failed to plan ahead. In the winter, start talking to your children about what activities they are looking forward to doing during their summer vacation. Knowing that your children are interested in going to summer camp or other events can help you and your co-parent find the right solutions for how to make a summer schedule that your kids will enjoy.
Arrange For Daily Child Care
One of the biggest issues parents have to contend with during the summer is who will take care of their children during the hours they would normally be in school. If neither parent can stay home with the children, and if the children are not old enough to look after themselves, you should discuss child care options with your co-parent. A summer day care program or local day camp can be a great way to keep your children entertained and supervised when you are unable to be with them.
Both Parents Should Agree On The Rules
When making co-parenting plans for the summer, standard Fall-to-Spring rules can often be overlooked or difficult to apply. Although your children might not like the idea of more rules to follow, you and your co-parent need to establish summertime rules that all members of the family can stick to. This also includes making rules for when and where your children can go alone and how to handle situations where they are invited by their friends to various summer gatherings.
While you and your co-parent might have a predetermined schedule for the summer, you should still be prepared to have to handle unexpected changes to the plans you have made. It is important to address any situations that might arise because of your co-parent as calmly and politely as you possibly can.
Don’t Compete With The Other Parent
Divorced and separated parents are often tempted to compete with their co-parent in order to gain their children’s attention and favor. Although you might want to demonstrate that you have the ability to afford a more lavish vacation or expensive summer activity, your children really just care about spending time with their parents. If you feel the urge to compete with your co-parent, rein it in and remember that the best summer memories are not necessarily made because of money or material objects.
Speak To A Family Law Attorney Today
At Gossman Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorney is dedicated to helping families in Alabama resolve their legal disputes. We have the skills and resources that you need to ensure your legal rights are protected. If you need help making a co-parenting plan for the summer, you should contact our Birmingham divorce lawyer to schedule your free consultation.
Call 205-498-7455 to find out what our friendly legal team can do for you!