THE GOOD OL' SUMMERTIME: Three Ways to Help With Co-parenting During the Summer Holidays
Ah, summertime. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. Is that a hint of seawater and sand I smell in the air? Am I happier lately? Why, I think I am! Maybe it's more Vitamin D. Maybe it's just warmer. Whatever the reason, I love it!
So all is right with the world, right? Well, not exactly. For many people the weeks leading up to summertime are a source of stress. Why? Because it means the inevitable collision with the ex-spouse over who gets what days / weeks until the kids go back to school.
Cue Charlie Brown screaming, “Ugggggggghhhhhhhhhh!” at the top of his lungs.
Here are three ways to hopefully help ease the pain:
1. Read your Order. Sounds simple but many people simply don't read what the order says. Nine times out of ten it will answer any and all questions you have about how to handle summer visitation.
2. Communicate with your spouse. I know, I know. You're going to say "she won't communicate" or "he'll just send back a stream of obscenities" or something else along those lines. Do it anyway and be cordial when you do it. Do it by text or email so you have a record if you need to go back to court at some point in the future. Nothing will make your lawyer smile more than showing the judge all the nice texts that you sent trying to work with the other parent, and then following up with showing the judge all the awful responses you got in return.
3. Be flexible. Trade days when you can. Trade weekends when you can. Yes, you have an order that says what to do - but remember that that is the minimum. Parents are to work together to come up with a schedule that works for them. And there will be times that each parent needs to change a weekend or a day. Work with the other parent as best you can. Hopefully the other parent will notice and will do the same.
I know it seems like a hassle, but the benefits are enjoying the sand and surf with your kids and, let's be honest, knowing you are the mature adult you hoped you could be all along.