The weather is getting warmer, and schoolchildren can hardly stay in their seats. This can only mean one thing: summer break is nearly upon us. While your children are excited for the break from school, you may be worrying about how this break will affect your parenting time schedule. Experts offer some guidelines to ensure the smoothest transition into summer possible.
Have a Plan
If you and your spouse are in the process of getting a divorce, do not wait to spell out custody and parenting agreements for the summer. It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive. Communication can stop problems and disagreements from occurring even before they start. If you are already divorced and have a custody agreement in place, take some time to go over it and verify the dates and arrangements with your ex-spouse.
Even the best planners in the world cannot predict the future. Leave room in your agreement for schoolmates’ birthday parties, extracurricular activities, or unexpected events like funerals which may arise with little warning.
There will be instances when a child’s baseball game runs late or another unanticipated event slightly muddies the schedule. Be patient with your ex during this time. Not only does this buy you grace if you need it in the future but it also sets a great example for your children. Kids who grow up seeing their divorced parents working together as a team will learn those skills as well. Never fight or argue in front of your children.
Keep the Focus on the Children
As tempting as it may be to use your children as ammunition against your spouse, study after study shows that this is very damaging to children’s psyches. For example, even if it is technically your turn to have the children for a certain weekend, if your ex gets tickets to your child’s favorite sporting event, allow them to attend. See if you can switch some dates around to accommodate the request. Your child’s happiness and well-being is the most important thing when negotiating custody agreements.
Value Quality Over Quantity
Many parents are understandably heartbroken to spend less time with their children after a divorce. Summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to create some lasting memories with your child. Take him or her on a special day trip, or sign up for an event together. Go to the zoo and feed a giraffe. Take lots of pictures which you can have printed and framed for your child. This will help you be in your child’s thoughts even when you are not physically present.
Seek Help With Your Summer Schedule
If you have questions about creating a summertime parenting schedule or are concerned about what your existing plan provides, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-945-8807 or 847-426-1866 for a confidential consultation today.