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Avoiding Summer Time Drama in Your Divorce

Like every year, summer’s high temperatures can lead to high drama for families that are going through a divorce. Smooth sailing custody arrangements can quickly be derailed by the free flowing schedule imposed on parents when the kids are out of school. Here are some tips to help you navigate rough summer waters:

1. Have a plan
This may seem like an obvious one; however, married couples are often used to relying on one another to cover childcare or summer camp plans for the kids. When you are going through a divorce, it’s essential that you make your own plans for the children when they are in your care. Do not rely on your soon-to-be ex-spouse to manage all of the affairs for the children – even if that is what he or she has always done. If the kids are with you, they are your responsibility.

2. Communication
Once you make your plans, inform the other parent as to what those plans are. Are you taking the kids on a vacation? Great! Communicate your itinerary to the other parent so that he or she knows where the children are and when they will be returning.

The same goes for day camps. Sometimes, parents double book kids for the same camps. Perhaps your son doesn’t need to go to two football camps but rather a football camp one week and science camp the next week. Some communication and coordination can avoid this type of error and help your child have a better summer.

Additionally, communication also means communication between your children and the other parent. Try to schedule some FaceTime or Skype time for your kids to contact the other parent. It’s understandable that you want to cherish time with your children alone. However, remember – it’s not YOUR time, it’s the children’s time and letting them touch base with the other parent is often in their best interests.

3. Attorney involvement
Courts do not want to be in the business of micromanaging parent’s relationships with each other or with their children. Sometimes, despite your best intentions and best efforts, you are not able to resolve summer vacation issues on your own. Understanding the amount of possession time you have over the summer can be confusing. Further, there are often strict notice provisions involved that further complicate matters. If you find yourself struggling, please take some time to consult with your family law attorney. Your attorney can help you fully understand your vacation time and the parameters of your possession schedule. Further, if court involvement becomes necessary, your attorney can help you determine your best course of action.

Summer is a fantastic time to relax and get to know your kids in a whole new, more carefree way. Plan your summer adventures accordingly and you will all benefit from your shared time together.

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