Every year children eagerly await the end of the school year, as summer break is a rite of passage and one of the many perks of being school aged child. However, for parents who are divorced or separated, this time off can be a nightmare. While summer vacation can quickly turn into a stressful, chaotic and combative time for parents, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help save your sanity and ensure that your family has a great summer.
Create a Plan & Stick to It
The best way to avoid last-minute arguments is to plan ahead. Parents should try to communicate their anticipated plans for the summer and create a schedule that both can adhere to. Most separation agreements or court orders designate a time frame that each parent has with their children during the summer. While an enforceable agreement may outline when parents must notify one another about planned trips, they often do not outline specific plans. Talk with your partner, and make planning summer vacation a priority for your children. Not only will you be creating memories that your family will cherish forever, you will rest easy knowing that your plans will not be foiled by unnecessary disagreements.
Thoroughly Communicate Vacation Details
Proper communication with your co-parent is key. If you are planning to leave the state or even the country, it is extremely important that you give ample notice to the other parent. By not sharing the full details of your vacation plans, you could face legal action from your partner. The best way to make sure all parties are aware of trip details is to have both parties acknowledge them in writing. A simple email outlining travel arrangements and pick-up times can save time and heartache.
Summer Vacation is Not a Competition
When you begin planning your vacation plans, don’t turn it into a competition of best parent. Rather place the value in the amount of quality time you get to spend with your children. A trip to the zoo or tubing on a nearby river can be just as exciting as a beach vacation. Make vacation about family time by creating a fun, imaginative experience out of each activity.
Tell the Kids
Once a plan has been agreed upon and the logistical details finalized, co-parents should jointly inform the children of the plans. By telling the children together, co-parents can demonstrate to their children that the plan was a joint decision and all parties will be following it. This is also a good time to remind your children that they may not see you for a few days during their trip, but they are nevertheless going to have fun.
By keeping your children’s best interests in mind and working cooperatively with your co-parent you are sure to provide your family with a fun summer vacation.
For more information about summer vacation and co-parenting, or if you have questions regarding your individual circumstances, contact the family law attorneys at Protokowicz & Rodier.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide about the subject matter. A licensed Maryland attorney should be sought about your specific circumstances.