Summer Solstice is here and that means it is the longest day of the year, while also being the shortest night of the year. The sunniest day of the year also reminds divorced parents of Summer break. Co-parents will need to create a “Summer Parenting Plan” to ensure a smooth break for everyone in the picture.
Here are some tips to make the transition into Summer as light as the day is long. Remember this is time to enjoy time with your children and make fun Summer memories.
Review your Parenting Plan
Your parenting plan should have a set schedule you will follow and should include a specific schedule for vacation time. Your plan should look at the year as a whole and we recommend having a parenting plan specifically centered around the Summer break. Both parents should be aware of the dates the children are out for Summer and when they return in the Fall. Each co-parents can decide when they plan to go on vacation with their children and be clear with all parties regarding the plans. Be sure to include logistics for transportation.
When you can be flexible and agreeable, please do this. Summer is a time of year that brings feelings of fun and excitement. Relax and allow your fellow co-parent to create memories with your children. This will make everyone happy and consider this is about your children and not the issues you may have with your former partner. Amy Lass, a partner of Griffith, Young, & Lass (GYL) runs into this issue of flexibility often with her clients. She encourages her clients to allow the other parent more time with the children if possible.
“Be liberal with vacation requests,” she said. “If the other parent needs an extra day, remember it is just one day, in 365, over 18 years, which is .02% of days with your child(ren).”
Set a Budget
Create a Summer budget and plan for additional expenses. It is likely there will be more trips, activities, camps, etc… Plan what you will spend on these activities. It is always good to be prepared and to be on the same page with your co-parent. It is also beneficial to know what each of you will spend to avoid one parent seeming like they are more generous than the other.
Talk to a Professional
Co-parenting without emotions is never easy. Divorce comes with many feelings of resentment and disappointment. There are pressures to ensure your children do not suffer as a result. If the pressure is affecting your daily health or ability to make the best decisions, seek out counsel from a professional. At Griffith, Young, & Lass, we understand the hardships in all facets of divorce, especially in co-parenting. Get in touch with our experienced and understanding family lawyers to help create your best Summer parenting plan.