Another school year is quickly drawing to an end. Your kids may have already had their field days and class trips, and now they are in the frustrating last days when the weather is warmer and they are stuck in a classroom. If you have custody concerns about the end of the school year, you are not alone.
Following a divorce, parents often have to re-evaluate their parenting plans. The change in summer schedules can mean conflicts with custody, and those planned and spontaneous summer events can complicate the most solid plans. You and your ex-spouse may find that the best thing to do is to confront the summer head-on and be proactive in your plans for the children.
Making it work this summer
You may be newly divorced, and this is your first summer dealing with the interruptions to your normal routine. On the other hand, you may simply want to avoid the conflict and confrontations you and your ex have summer after summer when the kids are off school and you can't seem to make thing work smoothly.
Planning ahead for the potential glitches in your parenting schedule is always wise. You may not be able to anticipate every scheduling conflict, but if you work together, you and your parenting partner may reduce the stress of the summer break by keeping in mind these suggestions from family counselors:
- See summer break from your children's perspective and remember that arguments between you and the other parent can taint their memories of this season.
- Work with your ex to schedule events and vacations, but be prepared to be flexible and accommodating if fun opportunities arise on the spur of the moment.
- Appreciate your ex's efforts to provide fun and interesting events for your children.
- Keep in mind that your children's interests may have changed since last summer.
- Include your children in any planning sessions between you and your ex, if appropriate.
- Take advantage of extra bonding time, such as keeping the children instead of using daycare whenever you or your ex's schedules allow.
Your goals are to ensure the kids have a safe and enjoyable summer, and you want to give them a fair balance of time between you and their other parent. You may be able to work out this arrangement together, but you can always reach out to a Missouri family law professional if your parental rights are ever in jeopardy.