Summer is a season for family vacations, plenty of summer reading, activity-filled camps—and strenuous co-parenting. Divorced parents are obligated to work out the new schedule during these months, while also providing a stable environment for their children. Here are summer break tips to employ.
Schedules become complicated during summer, when parenting schedules change and it becomes important to share the holidays with a spouse. It’s important for divorcees to navigate the summer months with poise in order to give their kids a stress-free, fun season.
Tip 1: Plan in Advance
A fulfilling summer starts with planning well in advance. In fact, divorced parents are urged to plan for summer break while school is still in session. Before the school year ends, explore camps and summer activities that would interest the children.
Likewise, plan early to accommodate anticipated changes to the parenting agreement. Either parent may decide to take the kids on a vacation, for example. In this case, divide vacations with the children. Having a structure in place ensures that both parents enjoy quality time with the kids.
While making advanced plans is only half the component, the other is to adhere to the agreed-upon schedule. A commitment to the summer plans helps create stability, prevents stress for the children and parents, and fosters a sense of security for everyone.
Tip 2: Amend the Custody Agreement
A divorce agreement may include a clause for summer vacations, where either parent may request a specific amount of time. If this clause is currently not included in the divorce agreement, add it to promote a healthy co-parenting relationship and avoid conflicts.
Tip 3: Communicate
Summer break means outdoor activities are in store. Camps are especially popular during the summer months and give children a safe place to interact when Mom and Dad are at work. Since camps fill up quickly, divorced parents are encouraged to begin their search early.
Successful divorce parenting involves excellent communication. Discuss how the kids’ time will be spent during the summer months and which camps or other activities they will enroll in. During these talks, decide who will be responsible for picking up the kids from camp, for instance.
Tip 4: Avoid Custody-Related Conflicts
The summer season is intended to be carefree and relaxing for the kids. But when divorced parents engage in custody-related battles about vacation time or other activities, the children’s sense of fun dwindles. In fact, it’s stressful for kids to watch their parents argue.
Circumvent the potential conflicts by openly discussing vacation plans and activities. Inform the other parent about the hotel reservations, flight, and planned activities; doing so opens the door to conversations about how to keep the children safe while on vacation.
Vacations to fun-filled destinations are exciting and highly anticipated. But when one parent attempts to outdo the other, such as booking a trip to Disney World when the other has plans for Wisconsin Dells, the kids feel caught in the conflict. Avoid competition to prevent stress.
Tip 5: Be Flexible
Summer includes many traditional holidays, from Father’s Day to the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Birthdays can fall within this time, too. Divorced parents are urged to be sensitive to days that may have significant meaning for the other parent.
For example, if Mom’s birthday falls in July, she may want to spend time with the kids. Dad may decide to swap the birthday weekend for Father’s Day weekend in June. Being flexible around important dates establishes a positive co-parenting relationship.
Tip 6: Get Legal Support
Disputes over custody are bound to occur in summer. Fights may arise from parenting issues, vacation plans as well as financial matters regarding the purchase of sports equipment, camp, and childcare. A parent may make unreasonable demands or fail to honor the agreed-upon schedules.
When a former spouse is uncooperative or refuses to make reasonable changes, it’s important to not add fuel to the fire. Avoid direct contact with the ex and limit communications via text or phone. Ask a friend or relative to pick up the kids to prevent a face-to-face confrontation.
Communication, however, will at times be necessary. When it is, do not use combative language, as it only worsens the situation. Rather, engage in a calm and respectful manner, especially in front of the kids. Set and enforce boundaries to ensure everyone’s time and space are respected.
If the co-parent continues to remain belligerent and refuses to cooperate, it may be time to consult a family law attorney. Initiating legal support can help a divorced parent assert their rights and ensure the other party fulfills their parental responsibilities.
A family law attorney can be the key to a stress-free summer break. A legal professional will help a divorced parent adjust the parenting plan and resolve custody issues or conflicts with visitation schedules. The lawyers at Allen Gabe Law, PC, can provide the legal support you need.
Settle disputes with a co-parent with the help of our attorneys, who are experienced in all matters surrounding family law. Working with our reputable firm protects your legal rights and produces a favorable outcome for the family, especially the children.
Co-parenting conflicts may exacerbate in summer but can develop any time of the year. When issues arise, our family law attorneys can begin mediation to settle differences. If mediation fails, we can take your case to court and advocate on your behalf.
Your children deserve to have good relationships with both parents. Allocating parenting time helps to achieve this beneficial end. But when one parent remains uncooperative regarding reasonable requests, bringing in legal support from our family law firm can effectively resolve the issues.
Settle your co-parenting conflicts with the help of the skilled lawyers at Allen Gabe Law, PC. We are experts in interpreting Illinois family laws and can help you succeed in winning your legal battles. Call our Schaumburg, Illinois, office today to speak to one of our attorneys.