Summer might seem too far away to plan for, but it is crucial to get started as soon as you can to avoid any unnecessary conflict. Unless your children are enrolling in summer school, chances are they will have a fair amount of free time and both you and your co-parent will want to take them on vacations and spend quality time with them. Instead of battling it out with your ex-spouse all summer, get started on talking about your plans now, so you can work around each other’s needs and the needs of your children.
Here are some tips that will help you co-parent throughout the summer:
- Discuss your schedules: You probably do not have a schedule that is the mirror image of your spouse’s, which means you should be able to coordinate your vacations with the kids. There is no reason why you should end up wanting to go on a vacation during the same week or weekend, so compare your schedules and choose the dates that work best for everyone. Both of you should also be considerate of one another during your respective vacations with the children. Do not make your kids feel guilty for going away with their other parent and, if you are the parent who is taking the kids away for a few days, allow them to keep in contact with another.
- Talk to your children: Even if you and your former spouse are exceptional planners and avoid running into any obstacles while working on a summer schedule, you should still talk to your children to figure out what they want. Remember, this is also their summer vacation and they are probably looking forward to a little time off from school. Make sure you are being considerate of their needs as well.
- Make it special: For some, going away on a vacation is not possible, whether because of finances or lack of time. Ultimately, the thing your kids will care about the most is making the time you spend together special and memorable. Consider camping someplace local and roasting some marshmallows, or taking them out to a movie. The summer is what you make of it, so try not to get too swept up in the idea of doing something extravagant.
- Work together: After you and your ex-spouse create a plan and are set and ready to go, things might still come up. Roll with the punches and try to be flexible. The only way this whole co-parenting deal is going to work is if the two of you are willing to compromise and work together on creating solutions to these problems. Even if you are still not on good terms with your former spouse, being open to compromise is the best thing you can do for your children, so never forget it.
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