When your children are on summer break from school, you no doubt try to schedule a few special events and family activities for them. Some kids go to day camp while others look forward to an annual trip to the beach. If you’ve recently filed for divorce, you and your ex will want to keep summer break in mind as you draft a child custody agreement.
There’s no way to divorce without it causing some type of disruption in your children’s lives. However, if you and your ex are willing to peacefully negotiate a co-parenting plan, you can help your kids keep stress to a minimum, especially during summer break. Juggling work schedules, extra-curricular activities and child supervision issues can be challenging, which is why it’s helpful to keep a few tips in mind.
A child custody plan is not a competition
You may no longer want to be in a relationship with your ex; however, the two of your will always share a connection because of your children. In most cases, it’s healthy for kids to spend lots of time with both parents during summer break. If they witness their parents working together as a team, they may be better able to cope with the changes divorce has brought to their lives.
On the contrary, if parents are always trying to outdo one another or your co-parent is trying to turn your kids against you, it not only can cause stress after divorce but, perhaps, legal problems, as well.
Keep lines of communication open regarding vacations
It’s natural for you and your ex to want to take your kids on vacation during the summer. Problems can arise, however, if you both want to travel with the kids on the same dates. You can avoid confusion and disputes by incorporating details about vacations in writing as part of your co-parenting agreement. It might take a bit of effort to plan ahead, but doing so may help your avoid trouble down the line.
Always discuss finances ahead of time
When you file for divorce, you must resolve financial issues pertaining to your children’s needs. The court may order a parent to pay child support. Property division proceedings can also affect children’s well-being. There may be expenses associated with your kids’ summer time activities. Which parent will be financially responsible for which activities?
If you know ahead of time that your kids will be attending sports camp or traveling abroad for a learning experience, etc., it makes it easier to map out all the financial issues so that it’s clear what each parent’s contribution will be.
Encourage kids to stay in touch with their other parent
If you’re traveling with your children during summer after divorce, it might take some getting used to for your kids not to have their other parent along on the trip. They’ll miss him or her while they’re away. Encouraging your children to use virtual chat apps, texting or phone calls to stay connected to their other parent while you’re on vacation might help them adapt to their new lifestyle.
If your kids are away with your co-parent and he or she is impeding their ability to contact you, you can bring the matter to the court’s immediate attention. Both parents must adhere to an existing court order, and the family court judge overseeing your case can enforce the order as necessary.