Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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Let Us Help You. Call Today. 805-232-5808

How divorced parents and their children can have a great summer

Summer is supposed to be a fun, carefree time for swimming, picnics, and sun-filled vacations. For divorced parents, though, summer may be a stressful time. Since children are off from school, visitation schedules need to be adjusted, and each parent wants to spend vacation time with their children. But with some advance thought and planning, conflicts and misunderstandings can be avoided, and the children can still have a fun, activity-planned summer. Here are some tips that can help the summer be peaceful and enjoyable for everyone:

Put your children first

There may still be some tension or even animosity between you and your ex-spouse. Your children, however, should never become pawns in a chess game to see which parent will get more time with them or who will take them on a “better” vacation. Your goal should be, not to gain an advantage over your ex, but to make it the best summer possible for your children.

Communicate

Discuss, well ahead of time, your thoughts about summer vacation and intended travel plans. Inform your ex about where you plan to go and when. Work out a schedule. Some court orders include direction about when each parent has the children during the summer; others establish deadlines as to when special plans must be communicated. Coordinate dates so your children can have a fun vacation with both of you.

If you plan to take your children out of state or out of the country, this should definitely be communicated in writing. Get the proper consent from your ex if needed. Depending on your court order, you could face legal action if you don’t do this. Additionally, signatures from both parents may be required to obtain passports for the children.

Finally, keep your children informed of the summer plans with both you and your ex, and let them know that you worked out the schedule together.

Arrange for continued contact

If you plan to take an extended vacation with your children, arrange for them to have regular contact with their other parent while away. They’ll want to tell them about all the fun they’re having. A short phone or video call will help them to keep in touch. And be sure that your ex knows how to get in touch with you if he/she needs to.

Be respectful of your ex

This may not be easy, but it will facilitate a smooth, peaceful summer for everyone. If you will be traveling with the children, share your itinerary details with your ex. And when it’s your ex’s turn to go away with the children, be supportive and positive. Remember that the children need time with both parents. You can stay in touch while they’re away, and it is okay to remind your ex about things like medication, sunscreen, etc., but don’t be a nuisance. And you might even take advantage of the time they’re away to spoil yourself a little!

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Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law