Summer is right around the corner and for many families that mean filling the calendar up with vacations, day trips, family outings, and other fun activities. For divorced families, however, summer can also cause stress and strife between co-parents who are trying to make their summer plans with their children included, however, there are steps that they can take to help ensure a fun and no-stress summer for everyone.
Parenting Time Agreement
Spring is a good time to look over the parenting agreement that the court approved when custody was determined. Check and see if the agreement requires each of you to give the other a certain amount of notice when it comes to vacations and/or other events. If you do have plans which go beyond the boundaries set in the agreement, consult with the other parent before going ahead and finalizing those plans.
If you are currently in the process of a divorce and/or custody case, then this will enable you and your co-parent to sit down and discuss a schedule which will work well for everyone.
Holidays and Events
Ideally, your parenting time agreement addressed all the major holidays and how parenting time would be divided, including the “summer” holidays of Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. If these holidays were not addressed, try to work out a plan with the other plan now and see if you can agree on how these days should be divided.
It is not uncommon for one parent to be uneasy if the other parent is taking the children away on vacation. Providing information about the trip – such as where you will be staying, and what your itinerary will be – goes a long way in helping to alleviate that uneasiness. It is also a good idea to let the other parent know of your plans as soon as possible. It is much better if they hear about those plans directly from you and not from the children. Remember, if you are traveling out of the country with the children, there may be documents required – such as passports – which could require the other parent’s signature for approval.
Many co-parents find using online calendars extremely helpful, not only in the summer months but also throughout the school year too. There are several apps available which are geared specifically for families, such as Our Family Wizard and 2houses.com. Even Google Calendar is a good resource for each parent to be able to keep track of the other parent’s schedule and help avoid misunderstandings which can lead to conflict.
One of the most important elements to successful co-parenting is the ability to be flexible. Life happens, issues and events come up, and co-parents who are flexible not only have a more peaceful co-existence, they also have much happier children.
Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney for Parenting Plan Issues
Unfortunately, no matter how cooperative and flexible we may be, the other parent does not always feel the same way. If you are having issues regarding your parenting time agreement – or any other custody issues – contact a skilled Kane County family law attorney to see what legal options you may have. Call Van Larson, P.C. at 630-879-9090 today.