Many divorced parents face challenges when attempting to reach an agreement on parenting time throughout the year. The summer holiday presents additional complications but with communication and compromise, it can be navigated successfully.
While most parents continue their normal work schedules during the summer, school is out and children are on summer vacation. This two to three month long holiday represents fun and relaxation for children, but can be the most stressful time of the year for recently separated or divorced parents. Communication and compromise are essential to ensuring that summer vacations go off without a hitch.
Communication is Key
A pre-existing parenting plan may need to be adjusted to accommodate the summer schedule. If the plan does not address how parenting time will be divided during the summer, co-parents will need to communicate in order to come to an agreement.
One parent may want to take the children on a trip during the summer vacation. In the case of such special events, it is best to plan ahead and let the other parent know in advance so as to avoid contentious surprises.
Some parents may experience feelings of resentment toward the other parent when having to give up quality time with the children. These feelings are best discussed with family members, friends or a health care professional and not directly with the children. Despite negative feelings co- parents may have toward each other, children should be encouraged to spend time with both parents free from feelings of guilt or the need to choose a side.
Another issue that will need to be discussed is money. Who will pay for the children’s summer camp, trips or extracurricular activities is an important factor to be worked out in advance. Children should not be burdened with adult problems; they do not need to know who is paying for what. The summer holiday is not a chance for one parent to outdo the other but rather an opportunity for both parents to equitably provide an enjoyable time for the children.
Compromise is Crucial
Divorce often brings changes to family dynamics. Being flexible and open to compromise can help ease the transition for children. Despite parents’ best efforts to plan ahead, unforeseen circumstances will inevitably arise and need to be dealt with amicably.
Allowing children to have a say in where and how they spend their vacation will assist in their comfort level with all the changes. After all, it’s their summer vacation so they should have a say in the plans.
Even if an agreement regarding parenting time was previously reached, adjustments may be required. As children get older, their interests change. What used to be a summer filled with theme park vacations may now be a summer filled with college campus visits. Also, as time passes parents may move or remarry. All these factors should be taken into account when revisiting a parenting plan.
Child custody in New Jersey is determined with the primary consideration being the best interests of the child. This principle should also be the foundational guideline used by parents when allocating parenting time during the summer holiday.
Mendham Child Custody Lawyers at Lyons & Associates Help Co-Parents Construct Agreements Regarding Parenting Time during the Summertime
Summer is just around the corner. If you and your co-parent are having difficulty coming to an agreement regarding summer vacation parenting time, call Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777 or submit an online contact form. Our experienced team of Mendham child custody lawyers can help you construct a mutually beneficial agreement.