Family Law Attorney Belleville, Illinois

Navigating Co-Parenting During Summer Vacation

Child hugs smiling mother while they are outside in the nice weather.

Co-parents may encounter various challenges during summer vacations. Conflicts often arise over scheduling conflicts, disagreements about vacation plans or destinations, financial responsibilities for summer activities, and differences in parenting styles.

Additionally, communication breakdowns and unresolved issues from the past can exacerbate tensions between co-parents, making it challenging to navigate shared custody arrangements during the summer break. But it doesn't have to be this way.

For a happy summer, even solid co-parenting plans may need an adjustment

The key to co-parenting over summer break is to have a plan and principles that you can stick to even when emotions run high. Here are a few tips for parents who are divorced or separated and need a plan to co-parent successfully during summer vacation.

Tips for a successful co-parenting summer break

Plan early and often

A comprehensive parenting plan extends beyond visitation schedules, encompassing decisions on education, healthcare, and activities like summer camps. It should also outline dispute resolution methods and be adaptable as children's needs evolve.

Pay child support

Summer vacation may be a break from school, but this time of year does not excuse one from making child support payments.

Be consistent

This doesn't mean everything has to be exactly the same at each house, but the more similarity, the better. If the rules at each house are close, it will be easier for your kids to transition between houses. The parenting schedule should be consistent but flexible when necessary.

Age-appropriate answers

Your children will likely have many questions about the divorce but remember that they don't need to know everything. Answer their questions about logistics and reassure them that you and your co-parent love them very much. If they ask about the reasons for the divorce, it's enough to say, "These are adult decisions," and reassure them that it isn't their fault. Likewise, never speak negatively about the other parent to the children.

Use a shared online calendar or app

Putting things in writing means there's no room for dispute or fights over "forgetting" details and events. A shared calendar that includes the children's activities, appointments, trips, homework assignments, and so on, as well as regular check-ins with the other parent, can ensure everyone stays on the same page.

Roll with it

Unexpected situations are inevitable—especially over the summer. But it's important to communicate any changes with your co-parent. Neglecting to share alterations or plans can result in turmoil down the road. Communication is necessary for successful co-parenting, whether through a quick phone call or a text message.

Always put the child's needs first

Whether your current relationship with your co-parent is friendly or contentious, it's always in your best interest to get sound legal advice and put your children's needs first. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you create a parenting plan that meets your current needs and builds flexibility to meet future needs.

If you're considering a divorce in Belleville or another Southwest Illinois community, contact Courtney Clark Law, P.C. today for a free case consultation. Our attorneys are here to help guide you down the right path.

"Courtney Clark Law is outstanding to work with ... Wouldn’t consider any other law firm." - Actual client

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