Summer vacation for parents who are post divorce or separated can be challenging when it comes to child custody arrangements. No matter how comprehensive and detailed your custody arrangement might be, it will in all likelihood need some adjustments to accommodate the children’s summer break. The set schedule that is necessary to accommodate school and regular activities is no longer necessary once summer break begins.
Make Plans Ahead of Time
Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans for the summer. It’s important to make summer plans as early as possible in order to avoid any conflicts with the other parent over vacation dates or even gatherings with family. Work out a schedule for summer custody that is agreeable for you and your children. The most important thing is to put your children first when you make your summer plans; understand this is supposed to be a fun time for the children when they can explore new things and make wonderful childhood memories.
Discuss Summer Plans with the Children
Do not make any summer plans without speaking with your children first. You want to take into consideration their needs and the places they would like to see and things they would like to do. This is especially true when it comes to older children. You want to ask your children what they would like to do over the summer and work with the other parent to take the wishes of everyone into consideration.
Both Parents Need to Coordinate Vacations
Both parents will most likely want to take the kids away for a trip during the summer. Make it a point to coordinate your plans with each other as soon as possible and make every effort to be cooperative. Encourage your children to have fun with the other parent since they will often feel guilty.
If both of you want to take the children on vacation the same week it can be a problem. This is the best time to think about what is best for the children and what their preference might be. Look for a compromise and find ways to accommodate the wishes of everyone. You also need to remember there will be times your children miss the other parent no matter how much fun they are having. Respect their feelings and be sure they know you understand their feelings.
Making Arrangements for Summer Camps and Childcare
If both of you are employed, you need to decide which one is going to organize child care and summer camps over the summer. You can each decide to do the organizing during your parenting time or you can plan the summer camps your children will attend and share the responsibility of arranging sign ups and making payment for the camps. You should agree from the onset how you will divide cost and choose activities.
The important thing is to be flexible and to make sure you put your children’s needs ahead of everything else and that is the best way to avoid divorce conflict. Be as flexible as possible and schedule your plans early.