Summer Parenting Plans: Tips for Co-Parents

Summer is here, but it can be stressful for divorced and separated parents to navigate parenting time in the midst of all the summer fun. To avoid conflict and ensure a smooth transition for you and your children, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Develop and know your parenting plan

The law recognizes that routines that work for parents and children during the school year don’t always make sense during the summer. As a result, parenting plans give parents the opportunity to
prepare a summer schedule based on their children’s best interests.

Some parents choose to maintain their normal schedule and add a vacation option. This works
particularly well for parents who already follow a 50/50 arrangement during the school year.
Alternatively, long distance parents might view summers as an opportunity to spend more time with their children. These parents can benefit from addressing the costs of travel and developing a protocol for long-distance exchanges.

Common summer co-parenting schedules for infants and toddlers include shorter but more frequent visits, while summer schedules for school-age children typically need to accommodate activities like summer camp as much as they do childcare. Teens might have their own commitments like summer jobs, and can do well spending larger amounts of time with one parent.

Communicate about summer schedules in advance

It’s important to communicate with your co-parent about schedules and changes well before summer begins. Communication is crucial for the success of any parenting plan, but it is especially important during the summer months when children have more free time and parents need to coordinate schedules for vacations, camps, and other activities. Most parenting plans include provisions that outline rules about how parents will communicate and develop their summer schedules. Even if you have an established plan, it’s best to stay flexible.

How we can help

Ultimately, developing a successful summer parenting plan requires flexibility, open communication, and prioritizing your children’s best interests. If you need help developing or interpreting your summer parenting schedule, an experienced family law attorney at The Commons can help. Click here to learn more about our affordable family law pay-as-you-go coaching program and to fill out our family law intake form to get started with legal coaching services!

The Commons Law Center Blog is for information purposes only. It is not legal advice.

posted May 30, 2024

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