If you share custody with your children, summer break can be a headache. Keep reading for tips for co-parents during the summer season.

An Important Note

Because custody arrangements vary, not all of these tips are applicable to your situation. If you need help managing your custody arrangements contact a legal professional about modifying the agreement. It’s also important to note that families do different things and children participate in different activities which can further complicate summer plans.

Keep reading for our guide to custody during summer vacation!

Tip #1: Create a Gameplan

For parents who don’t have an explicit parenting plan or custody agreement, summertime can be frustrating. Without school or a regimented routine for your children, it’s hard to plan ahead. However, creating a general game plan is crucial to getting through summer break.

A flexible game plan allows each parent and their child to weigh in on the goals and plans for the summer. It also creates a problem solving framework that parents can use to navigate issues that may arise. It’s also important to make vacation plans in advance to avoid bickering or safety concerns.

When you draft a gameplan, make sure it is in writing and that both parents sign it to ensure that there are no misunderstandings in the future.

Tip #2: Share Vacation Plans

As mentioned previously, it’s important to make and share vacation plans in advance. This gives both parents the opportunity to make adjustments and arrangements as necessary instead of scrambling to prepare.

Establishing vacation plans also gives parents the chance to agree on a location. In some cases, parents may feel inclined to outdo their ex spouse with a more lavish vacation but odds are children won’t appreciate the competition. Include the children in the planning and pick a location everyone can enjoy.

Tip #3: Include Children

Children may not be able to drive, vote, or make other ‘adult’ decisions, but they should have a say in their own summer plans. Including your children in the conversation ensures that they are aware of the plan and satisfied with the decisions. When children have a say, their memories of the summer and vacation are sweeter.


Every family is unique and has different plans and goals for the road ahead. Summer can be a frustrating time but with proper planning and inclusion of all members of the family you can have a fun and relaxing summer break.

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