School is out for the summer (almost), and if you have kids, that means vacations, camps, tutoring, and lots of family time. This is your reminder to check in on your former spouse’s plans for the summer, and to share your own. Communication evolves after divorce -- co-parenting is no exception. Let’s take a look at what needs to be considered for co-parenting through the summer:
We’ve definitely discussed money in the blog before, and even if there is some resentment concerning finances, split the cost of summer activities fairly. If one of you makes more money, think of your child(ren) and try to cover the more expensive aspect of the summer activities. If you happen to be on the lower end of the income level, try to work out something where you can make up the imbalance. I know of one former couple who share the responsibility by letting the mother babysit for the father on his days while he works, while he covers some of the costs of activities. There are plenty of free ways to entertain and educate over the summer, but music camps (or whatever specific camps relate to your kid’s interests) and good summer care are always a worthy investment.
Summer has a typical visitation schedule for parents, but when the two parents can work together to spend time with their children, the relationships for all involved benefit. Be sure to have a conversation where vacations and visitation are discussed. Try to get everything in writing, just in case, but be flexible when possible and work around schedules. Look ahead and plan the summer. Your children will be able to relax and enjoy the time they have with you, and you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have done your best to make sure they enjoy their break.
Budgets and schedules are the two biggest issues for co-parenting through summer, however, conversations and concerns will trickle down from there. Maybe one of you has a concern about a particular family member: discuss; maybe the other parent wants to go over your plan for safety while at the beach: discuss. The main thing to keep in mind is that your kids are happy and safe. Don’t get caught up in egos or what went wrong in the marriage. Focus on your kids and your co-parenting should fall into place.