Suppose your shared custody arrangement with your co-parent is still relatively new. In that case, you’re probably still getting used to working out the issues in your school-year schedule. However, it’s not too early to start thinking about summer.
Your custody agreement and parenting plan likely already address how the kids will spend time with both of you over the summer. The sooner you determine some specifics, though, the less stressful things will be for everyone. That doesn’t mean you need to plan your kids’ days to the minute, of course. But some things need to be settled.
Let’s look at some things to discuss with your co-parent and your children as the school year starts to wind down.
If you and your co-parent are taking vacation time with the kids, it’s best to coordinate those trips. Your children might not want to get back from one trip, only to have to leave on another immediately. You also need to make sure you’re not both planning to go to the same place again – unless your kids want to.
If you’re both working, you’ll need to work out who will care for the kids during the day. Young children might be in day care. Older kids might be in day summer camps or summer school. You and the other parent need to decide on these arrangements. It would help if you also considered how much you can afford to spend on sitters and summer camps and how both parents will divide care costs.
If your children are old enough, it’s good to let them have a say in their summer activities before you and your co-parent make any final plans. They might not have many choices about what happens during the school year, but they can choose which activities they’d like to do during the summer.
Finally, remember that summer should be a time for some flexibility and a time for kids to make good memories. If you and your co-parent are having difficulty agreeing on summer plans, you might want to talk with your attorney to see what kind of guidance they can offer.