For most people, summer vacation is the perfect time to sit back and relax,
whether you’re headed out of town or to the local pool. However,
for divorced couples, summer months often mean
custody problems, arguments, and hectic schedules. To avoid any conflict, and
to make this season as enjoyable for you and your kids as possible, try
planning out custody before summer begins with these helpful tips.
1. Know Your Schedule
If you have any plans or upcoming trips you’d like to go on over
the summer months, note the dates and establish a list. For most people,
summer schedules are a bit different from their normal day-to-day routine,
so plan it out as best you can so that you know what time and days you
would like your child with you. Look at your work schedule, meetings that
may require you to work late, trips with friends, family trips you’d
like to take with your children, anything that could affect your normal
2. Give Your Co-Parent Notice
As soon as dates come up, it would be courteous of you to make them known
to your co-parent. If there is a trip you’d like to go on with your
friends, for example, it would be a good idea to see if they can watch
your children while you are gone. Or, if you would like your children
to join you on a family vacation during days that they would otherwise
be with their other parent, bring those days to their attention. See if
you can negotiate time and make it work with both of your agendas, and
the schedules of your children.
3. Consider Your Children’s Plans
Most children are out of school during summer, so consider what you and
your co-parent will want your children to do while out of class. Will
one of you be home and able to watch them, or will you need to establish
a summer camp routine, daycare, or other solution? If you require some
sort of care for your children, look up options that you, and your children,
like. Make a list, and provide that list to your co-parent so that both
of you can decide the best choice for your children.
Also, consider other activities your children may want to participate in.
Are there birthday parties, soccer games, cheer camps, or other activities
they want to do? Try to find ways you and your ex can allow for these
activities for your child without taking more time from one parent or
the other. Also, try to plan any vacations around these events so that
your children can attend.
4. Make a Plan
Before the summer begins, it would be ideal if you could plan a coffee
meeting with your co-parent so you can both discuss your plans and requirements
for the summer. Bring a schedule and list of vacations you want your children
to join you on, and be prepared to compromise. Keep an open mind and me
courteous, it will make custody negotiations more civil and easier for
you, your co-parent, and your children.
If you and your child’s parent are not able to meet in person, or
are not capable of speaking civilly, email them with any changes or concerns
you would like to address. Be as detailed as you can, and be polite. If
necessary, you can provide this email as evidence in court that you attempted
to be civil and work out a fair custody agreement for the sake of your child.