For your kids, summertime means no school and plenty of time for fun activities. Between trips to the local pool, summer camp, and vacation time with their parents, they’re always in for a good time. When it comes to divorced co-parents, however, sometimes even a fun and relaxing trip can come with stressful underpinnings. If you’re worried about heated disagreements with your ex, consider these tips to keep it cool during the summer months.
1) Review your parenting plan.
Your parenting plan should have a set schedule that you’ll use most of the time, as well as a specific schedule for vacation time. You may have already agreed on how many days or weeks you are each allowed to be away from home with your children. Before you start planning vacations, take the time to go over your parenting agreement to make sure you understand your summertime scheduling plan. If your agreement doesn’t say anything about summer vacation, you should sit down with your co-parent to draft a plan that works for you both. Don’t forget to account for transportation and logistics.
It’s important to coordinate with your co-parent and always plan ahead. If you’ve made a summer parenting plan, you’re already set up to avoid planning vacations on the same week. When vacation time finally rolls around, ask the other parent to give you an itinerary of their trip, along with contact information where you can reach your kids. The same goes for you. You both have the right to know where your children are and to keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
3) Plan for extra expenses.
Your kids will likely be busy with sports, trips, and activities all summer, but many of these come with a price tag. Have a talk with your co-parent beforehand to decide how you will handle these costs. It’ll be much easier to budget for certain expenses, like summer camp and childcare fees, when you’re both on the same page.
4) Talk to a professional.
Many parenting guides will advise you to avoid feelings of resentment and encourage your kids to have a healthy relationship with their other parent. While this advice is very important, it can sometimes feel like a work-in-progress. You may want to speak with a counselor or psychologist to talk through your feelings. When the time comes for your children to spend a long period of time with the other parent, you may go through a range of emotions, from missing your kids to feeling resentful. A healthcare professional can provide you with a healthy outlet to discuss your emotions.
Whether you’re newly divorced or you’ve been working with your co-parent for years, cooperation and coordination aren’t always easy. At Freed Marcroft, we understand the challenges you face as a divorced parent. Get in touch with our experienced family lawyers if you should ever need help creating a parenting plan, deciding on child custody issues, or enforcing a custody order. We will go above and beyond to meet your needs.