Believe it or not, summer is fast approaching. Before you know it, your kids will be out of school for the summer, and your normal custody arrangement will be changing for the summer. It’s especially important for divorced parents to plan ahead for the summer schedule.
When creating your summer custody plans, it is possible that conflict will arise between you and your ex-spouse? You might already have plans in mind for when you’d like to take your kids on a trip, while your ex-spouse might also have similar plans in mind. Before these issues have any effect on your children’s actual summertime plans, work out a summer custody plan with your ex-spouse ahead of time.
Communicate with your ex-spouse months ahead about your individual vacation plans. If you keep the lines of communication open early enough, you may be able to avoid having an argument over conflicting vacation dates.
Don’t reserve anything until you’ve had a conversation with your ex-spouse about it. Your dates may already be concrete, but still let your ex- spouse know before finalizing any plans. It is worse to change plans after you have already made reservations than it is to do so beforehand. Plus, telling your ex-spouse early in writing via email about your vacation plans will hopefully allow you to lock down those days without conflict and give your ex-spouse a better idea as to when he/she could take their vacation.
Check your work and social schedules for any plans that could affect your summer custody plan. Whether it is a family picnic that you want to bring the kids to or an out of town work conference, get these dates on the calendar now. This will allow you to work out any trades or swaps in parenting time well ahead of time.
Also, look at each of your children’s schedules for things like sports games, birthday parties, or other pre-planned events which you know they’ll want to attend. You may even want to attend some of these events with your kids, so discuss these dates with your ex-spouse. Decide which events you may each attend individually and which you may want to attend together if that is possible.
Finally, talk to your kids. See if they have thoughts or ideas of what they’d like to do this summer, then try and work in those ideas into the summer schedule. Summer vacation is a special time for any kid, so work as hard as you can towards giving your kids the best summer vacation as you are making family memories together. Have a wonderful summer!