The summer season often brings changes in child custody arrangements as children enjoy their summer breaks from school, attend summer camps, and take vacations. While the school year is typically marked by set schedules and regular activities, a child’s summer schedule may have more free time and unstructured days. Determining how to fill those days can result in additional conflict between parents. By developing a co-parenting plan for the summer months, divorced or separated parents can reduce stress that comes from unexpected adjustments to child custody arrangements. The following tips can help parents create their own summer co-parenting plan.
Start Planning Early
Coordinating vacations so the children can spend quality time with both parents is always ideal. Figuring out the logistics of travel and vacation bookings will require that parents start planning early to avoid conflict over travel dates. When trips are booked in advanced, parents can begin to work on a schedule. Many families choose to send their children to summer camps, summer school programs, or extended childcare. Planning ahead will allow for all these factors to be considered.
Review Your Parenting Agreement
Many divorced couples already have a parenting agreement or formal child custody order in place that may set forth summer adjustments to the children’s schedules. Start a discussion about summer plans by reviewing the parenting agreement. If changes need to be made or a new co-parenting plan developed, parents should consider issues related to transportation and the division of activity costs.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In addition to the communication needed to effectively co-parent in the summer months, children should be kept in the communication loop. By factoring in the needs of the children and their preferences, parents can help ensure that all involved have an enjoyable summer. Older children especially will want input on how to spend their summer as they venture into their first summer job or camp experiences.
Many vacations involve extended periods of time away from home. Parents should encourage the children to stay in contact with the other parent during those times. Each parent should know where the child will be on any given day and be able to contact their children at any time. This will require coordination between parents prior to leaving on vacation as they share information regarding trip itinerary and lodging accommodations.
Providing each child with a calendar that includes when the child is changing homes, vacation dates, and special events can also ease a child’s anxiety about summer changes.
Try to Remain Flexible
The summer should be a memorable time for the entire family. This may require flexibility on your part if adjustments to your vacation plans must be made to accommodate the other parent. Many divorced parents can put their differences aside to create a summer co-parenting plan that works best for the children. Quality time with your children where they receive your full attention is the best type of vacation, regardless of the destination.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Assist Divorced Couples with Child Custody Arrangements
If you are co-parenting children during the summer months, a change in the child custody agreement may be necessary. At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our experienced Baltimore County child custody lawyers are here to help. Our offices are conveniently located in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland to assist families throughout the state. including the communities of Cockeysville, Lutherville Timonium, Upper Falls, Phoenix, Riderwood, Sparks Glencoe, Brooklandville, Butler, Stevenson, Glyndon, Monkton, Reisterstown, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Boring, Glen Arm, Baldwin, Upperco, and Hyde. To schedule your free consultation today, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online.