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3 co-parenting tips for summer vacation

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Family Law

Summer gives you a lot of opportunities to spend more time with your children, perhaps especially if you’re separated or divorced from your co-parent. However, summer also disrupts the usual parenting routine that both parties have grown accustomed to during the school year.

With that in mind, you need to start communicating with your co-parent today if you want to iron out some details about how co-parenting can be smoothly navigated over the summer. Consider keeping the following tips in mind as you move forward.

Be reasonably flexible and accommodating

If your co-parent wants to take the kids on a two-week vacation that will technically roll over into your parenting time, let them – so long as you can make up the time when they get back. It’s better to be flexible than to prevent your children from what could be a wonderful experience, and the goodwill you build with your ex can be used to your advantage when you need a schedule change in the future.

Be open about your vacation plans

If you’re planning a week’s vacation with the kids or want to take a few day trips, communicate your plans with your co-parent so that they know where the kids will be. Don’t try to keep your plans secret. That puts undue pressure on the children to hide things from their other parent, and can only lead to hurt feelings and frustration. Be willing to accommodate your ex with your itinerary so you can be reached in an emergency – and ask for the same in return when they take a trip.

Consider offering to share the summer expenses

Summer camps and summer programs, whether educational or recreational, can be life-enriching for your children – but they’re also expensive. You should basically treat these as “extra” expenses that aren’t covered by any child support agreement, just like Christmas presents. Find out how much is needed to cover the costs and offer to pay your share.

The last thing you want to do all summer is spend your time fighting with your co-parent over your parenting plan, but that’s what can happen if you aren’t proactive. Start with clear objectives in mind, aim to be kind and considerate and try to meet your ex in the middle, whenever possible to avoid legal disputes.