Most children get out of school for summer break in June. It is an exciting time, as they can have more time to spend with their family and friends. However, with a different schedule than the school year and more activities planned, summer vacation can present co-parents with new and unique challenges. Kids need to have a fun and relaxing summer with opportunities to make meaningful memories with their loved ones. We at Simon, O'Brien, & Knapp have the tips you need for working with your co-parent during the summer.
As your children are about to end their school year, take some time to look over your established parenting plans or any other scheduling documents. These should provide a detailed plan as to your children’s schedules. This includes information about planned activities, such as any summer camps, extra-curricular activities, and/or vacations. Reviewing this plan before the summer gets underway allows you and your co-parent to communicate if any changes need to be made in the children’s best interests.
The school year provides families with a concrete schedule, making it easy to know where children should be and when. However, summer break allows for more free time and flexibility in schedules. Co-parents may need to communicate with one another more frequently to remain on the same page. Work to find the best means of communication for you. That way, it is not as challenging to stay in contact with your ex-spouse. Keep your children at the forefront of your conversations, and prioritize their needs.
As you review established plans and activities, consider how each of your and your co-parent’s schedules factor into those plans/activities. For example, there are some events that both of you should be at to support your children. If your children have a sports game or performance, it is important to notify the other parent so they have the opportunity to work that into their schedule. Children benefit from having both parents play an active role in their lives. While it may be difficult to spend time with your ex-spouse, remember that you are doing so for the well-being of your children.
Sometimes last-minute schedule changes will happen. Kids may ask to stay at their other parent’s house for another day or will want to have a spontaneous sleepover with a friend. While sticking to the established schedule is important, there are times when flexibility and understanding are equally necessary. You should not give in to last-minute changes or requests every time, but lending flexibility to benefit your children’s happiness can go a long way in giving them a meaningful summer break.
During the summer, you will find yourself in frequent communication with your ex-spouse and other family members about your children’s schedule. While it can be challenging to grow accustomed to this after a divorce, it is possible. Throughout this experience, you should always put your children first and prioritize their needs. Know that they greatly benefit from having the whole family play an active participant in their lives.
When Challenges Arise
While it should be your goal to have as smooth a transition into summer as possible, that is not always possible. When working with co-parents, challenges can arise. If you find that issues occur, try to communicate with your ex-spouse first. Give them a chance to improve or rectify any mistakes they have made. However, if these issues continue and negatively impact your children, it may be necessary to seek legal guidance.
Compassionate Custody Attorneys
Having issues with parenting time schedules and custody arrangements can cause stress in your and your children’s lives. If you find that your former spouse is failing to adhere to the plan or negatively influencing your child, keep detailed documentation and reach out to an experienced attorney. Simon, O'Brien, & Knapp has a compassionate team of child custody attorneys and is ready to provide you with the guidance you need.
Contact us today for help with your parenting time schedule by calling us at (973) 604-2224.