Summer vacation planning can be a challenging aspect of co-parenting, often leading to conflict if not approached thoughtfully and proactively. While thinking about summer vacation scheduling in the middle of the winter may seem strange, engaging in this effort now can help to set expectations for co-parents and kids alike.
As a result, to better ensure a smooth, enjoyable summer for both children and their parents, early planning and clear communication are key. Waiting until the last minute can lead to rushed decisions and misunderstandings. Early planning allows both parents to express their wishes and concerns, giving ample time to reach agreements.
Planning ahead in thoughtful ways
If there is an existing parenting plan or custody agreement, review it for any stipulations regarding vacations and holidays. Understanding the legal framework helps in making plans that comply with the agreement and respects each parent’s time. If the terms of an existing plan are no longer serving an affected child’s best interests, it may be time to either agree on modification terms and to make them enforceable or to seek legal guidance if one parent disagrees about the need for a modification.
If you need to get on the same page as your co-parent about the upcoming summer season, discuss each parent’s expectations and preferences for the summer. This might include travel plans, camps or activities that the children are interested in. Consider using co-parenting apps or email for documented communication to keep track of discussions and decisions.
When planning, be prepared to compromise. Both parents may need to be flexible with their plans to accommodate the other’s wishes as well as the children’s best interests. And, depending on their age, you may want to involve the children in the planning process. This can help to ensure that their interests and desires are taken into account, and they feel heard in the decision-making process.
Throughout the planning process, maintain respect and consideration for each other’s time and relationship with the children. This kind of courtesy can go a long way.