Now that school is out and summer vacation has begun, parents in Arizona are making plans to enjoy the summer months with their kids. While this is common for parents across the nation, planning to go on a trip is not always an easy task. For divorced parents, making plans for the summer also means communicating with their ex. For some parents, this can be a challenging task, making it difficult to plan the trip they want when they want it.
Because children anticipate the summer to be filled with fun and relaxing activities, parents often feel the pressure to meet these demands. And in a post-divorce setting, parents are often finding it troublesome to meet the wishes and demands of their children. Although not all parents enter a co-parenting relationship following divorce, this is often a very helpful relationship to be in for joint custody arrangements. This tends to open up the lines of communication, helping the parents negotiate a plan they both feel comfortable with.
Whether you have joint custody or visitation, it is likely that you will experience some pitfalls during the summer months. For example, a child might want to participate in an activity that extends over several days. While this is common for summer programs, this could interfere with parenting time schedules. The best way to address this is to deal with it as soon as possible. It is important to meet the needs of the child, but it is also important to avoid any negativity or disputes. Therefore, it should be discussed and agreed to before any fees are paid for enrollment.
Because summer trips can be very exciting, it is difficult to not discuss the trip with the child prior to clearing it with the other parent. While each family is different, it is often best to avoid chances of disappointment. Thus, divorced parents should discuss their intended summer plans before talking to their child about them.
Co-parenting during the summer months can be different during the school year, but the same tactics can be used to communicate and negotiate through any issues or problems that could arise. However, if you are dealing with unresolved custody disputes, it is important to understand your rights and options to timely resolve them.
Source: The Good Men Project, "Co-Parenting Through Summer: More Sunshine, Less Divorce Shade," June 2, 2017