Co-parenting in the summer can present significant challenges, even for parents who have established a child custody plan that works well the rest of the year. If both parents are working and the children are young and cannot be left alone, then it is highly likely that an entirely new co-parenting plan must be worked out for the summer months. With careful planning and communication, parents can avoid the common pitfalls of summer co-parenting.
When Should I Start Planning for Summer?
The best way to tackle co-parenting plans for summer is to start communication as early as after the new year. Even if some of the details cannot be worked out, it is good to start conversations with kids about their summer preferences for camps and activities, as well as with your ex-spouse about dates for holidays and trips.
Involving the kids in the process helps them take ownership of what their summer plans will look like. Planning early can enable you to save money on summer camps and activities by taking advantage of discounts for early booking. Popular camps and activities can also fill up quickly, so starting early is always a good idea.
Be sure to clearly communicate about who is responsible for registering for summer childcare or camps and how the fees are being divided. The cost of summer camps, clothing, and outings can add up quickly, so have an honest discussion about how this will be shared. After establishing your plans, write them down so that everyone is clear about what was discussed and the outcome.
What Rules Should be Established?
Summer means freedom for kids. Freedom from school may mean later bedtimes and roaming the neighborhood with friends. Establishing rules that are consistent across both households is best for the children. It helps avoid arguments and lets them know that you took the time to determine the rules together.
What if we Have Conflicting Plans?
The activities your children choose may not line up with what you want to do in summer or the time you were scheduled to spend together. Remaining flexible opens the possibility that you can swap weeks with your ex-spouse or move the trip that you had been planning.
It may also be difficult when the established school schedule changes over to summer, so anticipate this and be understanding. Successful co-parenting requires flexibility from all the parties involved to make it work.
What if I Miss my Children?
Many parents experience anxiety when their children are away on summer vacation with their other parent. Try to be generous and let your children enjoy their time away. Use your time alone to indulge in some self-care activities that are hard to get to when your children are with you.
Instead of stressing about summer arrangements and that you could not afford the most expensive camp, make the most of the time you have together without the hectic schedule of school and other activities. Summer is a time for relaxing together and making memories, an opportunity no parent wants to miss out on.
If you need help constructing a successful co-parenting plan for summer, it is beneficial to speak to a skilled family law attorney. A lawyer will help devise a plan so that summer vacation can be a stressless time.
Media Child Custody Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Establish Their Summer Co-Parenting Plans
Summer co-parenting can be tricky, so you will want to be sure to have a written plan. Our Media child custody lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can answer all of your questions about what makes a co-parenting plan successful. Call us at 610-565-3701 or complete our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we help families throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.