Maybe this is your first summer that the kids will have to split their time. Maybe you have been doing this awhile, but kids’ lives and schedules change, and you feel there is a need to adjust the visitation this year. There are so many options when it comes to summer visitation schedules. There are also so many things to work around. Depending on the age of your children, there are summer camps, sports activities, VBS programs, their own friends and sleepovers, & your own vacations and trips. So many things to coordinate!
Of course the best case scenario is for co-parents to communicate their needs to each other and make a plan. This is assuming that the divorced couple can still communicate on some level. Here are 6 beneficial co-parenting tips for summer planning:
- Let the other parent know of any vacations or trips that you want to plan as soon as possible.
- For children who are old enough, include their desires for camps and activities. They don’t need to be involved in making the detailed plan, but do take their ideas into consideration.
- Consider each parent’s work schedule and understand there may be additional costs for summer childcare.
- Find activities and things for the kids to do, but don’t over-schedule the summer. Enjoy the time off and a break from the routine and scheduling of every day.
- Find time for each parent to have quality time with the child(ren). Unscheduled quality time…not just when you are in charge of pickup and getting them to the next activity. Summer is great quality time for memory making.
- Plan vacation time from work to make that quality time happen. Make good use of your time off for the sake of your child(ren) in concordance with the summer plan that you and your ex work out.
You are in charge of asking your lawyer if there needs to be adjustments made to your court order visitation plan based on changes you make for summer. If you and your ex are in communication and make a plan together, then chances are there is no issue and the court will just approve your plan. But be sure to cover your bases and go through the proper steps to protect yourself and your child(ren). Above all else, make summer time an enjoyable and memorable time for both you and your child. You can’t get that time back once it’s gone.