When you obtained your divorce decree, you may not have thought ahead far enough to consider the implications your new lifestyle might have on your family life during summer. As a parent, you undoubtedly want what is best for your kids. You understood from the get-go that your decision to sever your marital ties would greatly affect your children's lives; however, you were hopeful that they'd be able to cope just fine as long as you were there to show your love and support.
Many Florida parents neglect to incorporate specific terms in their co-parenting agreements to cover the months their children are home from school on summer break. This can lead to numerous co-parenting problems and, in worse cases, prompt a need for the court's intervention. Whether or not you have summer time co-parenting terms in your agreement, keeping several things in mind may help you avoid summer time co-parenting stress.
Getting things in writing is always best
Just because you may not have incorporated summer time parenting plans into your initial court order, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't request a modification. Writing out an explicit summer break co-parenting plan might be the easiest way to avoid problems with your ex. Especially if he or she tends to be the argumentative or uncooperative type, you may feel a lot better knowing that there is documentation to refer to if a particular issue becomes problematic.
Open access to both parents at all times
When kids are in school, they're away from home most of the day. In summer, they may need to get in touch with one or both parents more frequently. Whether you're the custodial or non-custodial parent, you should always make sure they can contact either you or the other parent at any time. If your ex is creating problems by not allowing your kids to get in touch with you when they're not in your care, you can take immediate steps to rectify the situation.
Summer time transportation
Most kids stay quite busy during summer these days. Your children may be playing sports, attending day care or vacation bible school, or going to camp. It's critical that you and your ex work out a transportation schedule ahead of time. You don't want your children stuck somewhere, wondering who is supposed to pick them up and leaving them confused as to which parent's house they will be going. An easy way to avoid complications is to write out a summer time transportation schedule.
Flexibility is a key factor to minimizing stress
Things happen to thwart even the most organized summer time plans. Tires go flat, people get sick, and it just sometimes happens that your co-parent or you may need to change plans at a moment's notice. If you're both willing to cooperate and compromise, you will likely be able to peacefully overcome any problems that arise. Refusing to work as a team, however, can not only ruin your children's summer but can lead to serious legal problems as well.