If you share children with your ex-spouse and this is your first time planning out the summer months while living in separate households, this could be a tricky situation for you to navigate. However, it is important to remember that no matter how much you and your ex-spouse might not get along, you still have one common goal – to ensure your children are able to grow up and thrive in the best possible environment. To accomplish this goal, you will have to put forth the effort to effectively co-parent together while minimizing arguments and unnecessary animosity.
Below are some tips that can help you plan some summer holiday fun with your co-parent:
- Create a co-parenting plan: Take some time to sit down with your co-parent, and possibly a mediator or your attorney if necessary, to create a plan you and your co-parent can both agree to for the holiday schedule. It is likely that you will draw upon the parenting plan you likely already have in place, with some modifications that will allow you both to enjoy some extra quality time with your children during the summer break. Be sure that whatever arrangement you settle on is formally agreed to, in writing, and is signed by the Judge and entered as Judgment, so that it is enforceable by the court.
- Share your vacation plans as soon as possible: Giving your co-parent a head’s up is a critical element in ensuring the summer break goes smoothly. The sooner you tell him or her what your plans are, the better. You could also opt to alternate weeks to avoid any arguments regarding the summer schedule. Of course, some dates cannot be avoided and will call for the involvement of both parents. For events like graduations or family reunions, it is important to work together so your children can enjoy themselves without worrying about any unpleasantness between you and your ex-spouse. If you absolutely cannot get along with your ex-spouse plan to have separate celebrations with your children.
- Share the costs: Summer activities might not come cheap, especially if they involve flights, summer camps, or other extracurricular activities. You and your ex-spouse should discuss each of your summer budgets for the kids and come to an agreement regarding the payment of the costs, if the payment of costs is not outlined in your parenting plan. Remember, you are doing this for your children and not for your ex-spouse.
- Ask for their input: Planning is great, but you and your co-parent might also want to ask your children for their input. If they tend to spend more time with one parent than the other during the winter months, perhaps they will want to see their other parent more during the summer break. Give your children a voice and, if their desires seem reasonable, try to accommodate them.
- Be flexible: It is important for you to be supportive of your children’s relationship with your ex-spouse. This means that, if you are traveling with them, let their other parent maintain consistent contact with them through whichever method is most convenient, including email, phone calls, texting, or Skype. While they are with you, your children are probably going to miss their other parent, so do not make this experience difficult for them just so you can punish your ex-spouse.
- Be understanding: Keep in mind that a change in routine can create a lot of stress for your children, so they might not react the way you want them to while on vacation. They might appear to be sad or decline your efforts to spend time with them. You might take this personal and feel hurt, but remember that your children are just trying to adjust to these changes as best as they can. Instead of showing that you are hurt or getting upset with your children, offer your understanding and try to do what you can to make this easier for them. If you think adjusting to divorce was hard for you, imagine what it is like for them.
- Do not compete with your ex-spouse: Your summer vacation with the kids is not a competition with your ex-spouse over which parent is more fun. This will only create a hostile environment and ultimately harm your children. Focus on what you have planned with the kids and do not think of it as a competition.
Accomplished Family Law Attorney in Chesterfield
If you and your ex-spouse share children and you are now dealing with issues regarding your parenting plan, now is the time to seek skilled legal help to help you navigate this situation. At Galmiche Law Firm, P.C., our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of success in helping families reach the best resolutions possible for their circumstances.
Get started on your case today and contact our law firm at (636) 552-4841 to learn more about what we can do for you during this difficult time.