Summer is a tricky time for divorced parents. Below you will find some hands on tips to create a summer with less stress and minimal conflict.
A key element to summer is structure. Parents who are separated or divorced must have a plan in place that helps to define how their children time will be spent throughout the summer months. If planning your children’s summer out together is too much for the two of you to handle alone meet with your divorce attorney’s present with a mediator to establish clearly the division of time. This way each parent can structure their children’s summers as they see fit when they are in their custody. If one parent is pro summer camp then set up an arrangement where they attend camp while with that parent and they also assume the cost.
Expenses throughout the summer need to be planned out carefully. Childcare is large expense that may not have been a part of the equation in past summers. Again, the cost of childcare is something that needs to be specifically addressed. Clarity with these situations will help prevent surprises. This process can be seamless with the help of your divorce attorney and a mediator.
Summer can often be a time of last minute changes. This may not work well if you are not able to communicate with your ex-spouse. To avoid any unnecessary conflicts for your children don’t assume that your last minute plans and changes will not be met with resistance. When these occasions occur put yourself in their shoes. The changes you are making may interfere with plans that they have set in stone. Follow the written plan that is in place. If you need to make changes or are asking for your ex to adjust time request the change in writing with as much advanced warning as possible. Don’t put your children in the middle if your spouse declines and chooses to remain true to the schedule set in place.
Try to put all other personal conflicts aside when working out a parenting plan for the summer. Detach yourself from other conflicts and divide them into smaller more manageable pieces. Don’t let your feelings towards one another affect summertime fun. Never try to outdo each other. Your goal as parents throughout the summer should be clearly defined, financially reasonable and simple to accomplish. It is only three months; a plan should be established and followed by both parents.
Don’t involve your children in summertime conflicts. Make sure that summer is kept carefree and filled with memories. Memories don’t cost money. Make sure you understand even the simplest day trip can make a long lasting impression upon your child. After a divorce it is especially important to understand that your children want your time and attention not fancy vacations and non-stop summer camps.