Although your marriage may have ended, your role as a parent has not. You and your ex-spouse may have prioritized a co-parenting agreement in your Maryland divorce settlement, but as situations change, that agreement may be difficult to follow. One of the times when that becomes readily apparent is during the summer when your kids are not in school.
Start planning the summer early
Summer is generally a fun time for children, but it will become stressful if their parents continually argue over whose house they will be at. Not having an alternate schedule in your child custody plan for those times when they are more available can cause confusion and instability. Avoiding conflict with your co-parent is also essential for everyone involved to ease stress.
Tips for summer co-parenting
Start your alternate co-parenting plan as soon as possible. Once you have established vacations, whether alone or with your children, notify your co-parent about your plans. Talking to your ex-spouse before you make reservations is a good idea so that you don’t cause any consternation with surprise moves.
Your children should also let you know about what summer programs they plan on attending along with if they need regular transportation to the site. Approach any change in custody and visitation plans as you did when you worked out your original plan.
A summer arrangement is only temporary
Equitable agreements for you and your children will only last a few months. Keep in mind that once school starts again your normal routine can resume. The goal of custody arrangements during the summer is to make your children feel comfortable. Many children, especially teenagers, will want a voice in what happens.
If your divorce was amicable you’ll most likely have an easier time working out summer arrangements. Remember that you also have resources such as mediation at your disposal if you need help working out a timeline. No matter how well you and your ex-spouse get along, put your summer plan in writing so that there are no surprises. If you both have copies of the schedule, you’ll experience less confusion and fewer miscommunications.