Just because the seasons are changing, doesn’t mean that the ease of a custody agreement needs to melt away under the hot summer sun.
Sharing the summer with your ex or soon-to-be ex, so that it is almost seamless for your kids, can really be quite easy. Like most other elements of your divorce and custody agreement, make sure that you take into consideration vacation schedules.
It is common for parents to have a specified amount of uninterrupted vacation time. Usually parents will alternate years when selecting vacation times – if Mom has first choice of vacation time the first year, Dad will have first choice the second year. To avoid conflicts, upset children, and make what should be an enjoyable situation stress-free, each party should give the other adequate notice about their vacation plans for the summer.
The summer season also brings with it holidays and special occasions. Parents should strive to be flexible for the benefit of the children. For example, if Mom’s side of the family has a graduation party on Dad’s weekend with the kids, a brief discussion about switching weekends or allowing a slight shift in the agreed upon schedule is warranted. For yearly events, such as July 4th and Memorial Day, those can be worked out in advance by either alternating the holidays each year, or agreeing that the children will be with one parent on one date and the other parent on the other.
Remember that in the end the most important thing is the children and making sure they are happy, and that their summers are something they will remember with a smile.
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By Debra Rubin