Summer vacation in separated families can be difficult. It is an opportunity to have quality time with your children, without the pressures of a school schedule. However, decisions about how the children spend their summer break can also be a source of conflict for parents.
There are a couple of potential sources of conflict for separated and divorced families which include: holiday schedule and calendar, summer camp or daycare arrangements and a lack of trust in a parent’s ability to manage parenting over long periods.
Plan, Plan & Plan Some More
A good parenting plan will always help decrease conflict and will help parents work together and see the bigger picture; the best thing for the child.
With COVID-19 still being a prominent issue, there might be some updates and changes that could affect your divorce or separation agreement. Be sure to check with your lawyer to make sure the schedule should go as planned.
Since summer access can vary from family to family, determining the parenting calendar will make summer events run more smoothly.
Creating a parenting plan is very easy and can be done through a lawyer, parenting coordinator, or mediator to help negotiate solutions and ease conflicts. Emotions can be heightened when it comes to your children so it’s best to have a qualified professional to speak to your goals on your behalf.
Lastly, having all the planning on paper will decrease the number of conflicts that may come up.
Tips to Keep in Mind
There are a couple of things you should be keeping in mind as these negotiations, or changes arise:
- Flexibility & Positivity: You never want to display any kind of negativity, anger or unwillingness to work with your spouse around your child. Some parents have longer amounts of time scheduled but if the child is not up to it you need to respect their wishes and be flexible in how you are going to see them. They want to feel heard so do not force things on them if they are not comfortable. When the children are young, this will require the input of a third-party professional to get to the root of the issue.
- Expectation Organization: Sometimes, just spending time with a parent is all a child wants. Children are keen on remembering close moments with their parents even if nothing drastic occurred.
- Trading Days: This goes along with flexibility, but if a parent needs to trade a day or week, the best thing to do is be open to the switch. This is an easy way to set a good example for the child on how good communication regardless of past experiences is very important. In addition, you never know when you may need the same indulgence in the future.
- Conflicts: If a conflict occurs, you want to ensure that you keep the fight between the parents and not involve the child and if it cannot be resolved bring the issue to your lawyer, or mediator, so they can assist.
The mentality should never be you versus your co-parent; it should always be in the child’s best interest, regardless of what is going on.
For any questions regarding custody arrangements or divorce agreements, contact Epstein & Associates for more information.