4 Tips for Co-Parenting During the Summer
When it comes time to plan out your summer vacation, make sure you consider how your parenting plan might be affected. Whether you share custody, have primary custody, or follow a visitation schedule, you’ll want to arrange any changes for the summer with your ex ahead of time. Co-parenting is no easy feat, especially during summer vacation and the holidays, but if you plan ahead and find a way to cooperate, it can make your summer vacation infinitely more enjoyable and less stressful.
In order to make co-parenting easier this summer, try employing these helpful tips:
1. Create a Summer Parenting Plan
Before the summer fully takes off, make sure you and your ex get together to create a clear, thorough parenting plan. If the two of you are capable of compromising and coming up with a plan on your own, meet for coffee, without your kids, and create a schedule that works for both of you and your children. Go over planned vacations, daily child care, weekend plans, and make sure you remember any plans your kids have, like birthday parties or summer camps. Even if you are in complete agreement, make sure everything is in writing, just in case your ex contests your plans later on.
If you aren’t able to get together amicably and find a resolution yourselves, you might need to seek something a bit more formal. Talk to your lawyer about what you can do to make a more official change to your parenting plan to allow for any changes during the summer months.
2. Plan for Long Trips
Most kids are out of school for the summer, and some adults receive additional time off. Either way, families tend to plan their big vacations during the summer, so make sure you and your co-parent plan ahead when it comes to extended trips. In other words, tell your co-parent about any plans you have and try to be understanding about any requests they have about long vacations. Chances are, one or both of you will want to take your children away for a long trip at some point or another, and this will work best if you are both prepared. Exchange hotel, flight, and other important contact information in case of an emergency, and, if you are the one traveling, make sure you let your co-parent know when they can anticipate a call or email from your children.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
When it comes to raising children, parents always need to communicate their wishes and goals as clearly as possible. This becomes even more necessary after the parents have split up. Staying on the same page with your co-parent and doing what’s best for your kids can be difficult, but if you keep the central goal in mind, your children’s health and happiness, it can make communication easier.
Keep in contact with your ex and do what you can to be understanding, flexible, and clear. The more you understand one another, the more likely you are to work together for the good of your children. If you aren’t able to talk on the phone or meet in person to discuss your children without fighting, consider hiring a mediator for serious discussions or email one another when you need to. Either way, just make sure the two of you talk about your children and your plans.
4. Be There for Your Kids
Change can be difficult on kids, no matter how big or small. Whether this is your first summer separated from your co-parent or your fifth, the process might still be a challenge for your kids. Make sure they know that their concerns are important, and give their wishes a voice. Ask them what they want to do this summer, and try to plan for the extracurricular activities or camps that they’d like to participate in. It might be difficult to give up time with your child for a neutral activity like this, but remember to put the happiness of your child first.
Dealing with a co-parent can be challenging, especially if the two of you don’t see eye to eye. However, with a bit of planning and patience, you can make co-parenting issues, like planning for summer break, much easier for you and your kids. If these tips don’t help your situation, it might be time for a new custody arrangement, possibly with the help of family court. Our family law attorneys can work with you to determine the best possible solution for your family, whether that means seeking a child custody modification or pursuing a new parenting plan altogether.
Contact Mazaheri Law Firm at 405-414-2222 today discuss your child custody case with our Oklahoma City family law attorneys.