Co-Parenting During Summer Break

Children often spend the whole year longing for summer vacation. Unfortunately, for many divorced parents, this time can be especially difficult to navigate. Summer break may force parents to create an entirely new schedule, making co-parenting challenging. For co-parents struggling to navigate summer break, there are some steps that you can take to make sure that the transition to summer goes as smoothly as possible. A seasoned family attorney could also help parents navigate co-parenting during summer break and assist in editing or drafting a parenting plan.

Do Not Wait to Plan  

If your existing parenting plan does not include guidelines for holidays, consider reaching out to an experienced custody attorney who could work with you to update your plan. The guidance of a knowledgeable attorney can make the process of updating a parenting plan go smoothly as possible and ensure that all necessary steps are taken.

You and your co-parent should know the last day of school for your children in advance. It can be beneficial for you and your co-parent to find a time and place to get together in the winter or spring to plan a summer schedule for your children. This gives you both the opportunity to negotiate, confirm any important dates, and schedule any trips you each may want to take with your children.

Involve Your Children

Your children wait all year for these few months off of school. The last thing they want is to spend their summer break miserable because you and your co-parent failed to plan ahead. Talk with your children about what they would like to do during their summer vacation. Make sure their wants and needs are taken into consideration when planning, and ensure they are able to spend time with both parents. Factoring day camps, playdates, and trips that your children want to take into your co-parenting plan allows everyone to enjoy their summer break.

Expect to Share Costs

Summer can become an expensive time of year once you factor in summer camps, club sports, flights, and other activities. A co-parenting plan should lay out who will be paying for what so that neither parent has to incur too many unexpected costs. Talking with your co-parent about who will cover certain costs can help alleviate some of the stress of summer break.

Be Flexible 

It is important to be supportive of your child’s relationship with your ex. When traveling with the kids, give your co-parent contact information and help your children maintain contact with them by phone or other means. If your co-parent is taking the children out of the country, be sure to sort out any necessary travel documents before they leave. If your co-parent does not see your children often during the school year, make sure that they understand your children’s capabilities in terms of outdoor activities to ensure their experience together is safe and enjoyable.

In a perfect world, you and your co-parent would go into the summer with a predetermined plan, and your kids would know exactly what to expect once school ends. However, sometimes life gets in the way and plans can change without warning. Be prepared to handle any unexpected situations as calmly as possible with your co-parent. Being flexible helps you maintain a cordial relationship with your co-parent while still being able to utilize parts of your planned schedule.

Avoid Competition

Summer break may seem like a great time to show off to your children or prove that you are the “better” parent. Do not try to one up your co-parent with holiday plans, as this only creates animosity and guilt within your family. Allow the summer vacation to be an opportunity for your children to spend time with both of their parents.

Contact a Dedicated Lawyer to Discuss Co-Parenting During Summer Break

Navigating the ins and outs of co-parenting can be difficult, especially during summer break. If you need assistance in creating or finalizing your summer parenting plan, a knowledgeable attorney can help. Reach out today to learn more about what an experienced lawyer can do for you.

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