Some of the best summers children spend with their parents go unplanned, but you can’t always do that after a divorce. You may now only see your children for about half of the summer, which can dramatically cut down on your summer plans. You may still want to make summer memorable for your children and that may mean you need a game plan.
There are a few things you may need to consider when making the best out of your children’s summer break. Here’s what you should consider:
1. Check your parenting plan
You can’t plan a vacation trip until you know if there are any limits on your travel with the children. Your custody agreement or parenting plan may already hold the information you need. Review it carefully (rather than just relying on your memory) so you can negotiate from a position of strength.
2. Talk to your co-parent
You may want to take your children to the beach and spend an extra few days with them. These extra visitation days will need to be discussed with your co-parent. Be willing to give up something in exchange, like a different holiday date, for your co-parent’s cooperation with your plans.
3. Be ready to discuss your itinerary
Your co-parent most likely will also want to know how they can reach your child while they’re with you, whether you’re doing a “staycation” at home or going out of town. Be considerate of your co-parent’s feelings and concerns. That’s the best way to ease tensions and receive the same treatment in return.
4. Ask your children what they want to do
You may find out that your children have plans of their own. Maybe they want to go to the park, ride their bike, visit an amusement park or museum or have a sleepover with friends. Asking your children what they want to do during the summer may make it easier to make the best of their break.
5. Set up a calendar
Once you’ve figured out what you’re doing with your children during the summer, it can help to create a calendar to keep track of all of your plans. Your co-parent may be busy and absentminded (and you may be, too), so it can help to share that calendar with your co-parent. You may discover that your schedule conflicts with something your co-parent was planning.
6. Adjust your work schedule
You likely are going to need to call some days off during the summer to spend time with your children. Some people make the mistake of asking for vacation time before making plans with their co-parents. As a result, they may discover that they won’t be spending time with their children as planned and waste their vacation time.
Sometimes, summer vacations become a new source of tension between co-parents, and it can even highlight the need for larger changes in the current custody arrangement. At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering a custody modification, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.
Let Me Be Your Brave
Mia Poppe, Esq.