Avoid Conflicts by Creating Your Summer Parenting Schedule Early
For many divorced parents sharing custody of their children, one of the things they will need to collaborate on is the summer parenting schedule. Since children will be out of school and many parents plan vacations and other special activities during this time, the parents will need to figure out a schedule that works for both of them so that their children can enjoy all their plans.
Preparing to Create a Summer Parenting Schedule
Before you sit down with your co-parent to negotiate your summer parenting schedule, you should both prepare for the conversation. Some of the things you should do include:
- Looking at the existing child custody order and parenting schedule to see where changes will be required for the summer
- Reviewing and finalizing your own plans for the summer as you might have work-related events and family activities that you must account for
- Listing your vacation plans for the children, even though these cannot be finalized until you and your co-parent agree
- Considering your children’s plans for the summer, including any events they might want to attend including workshops or summer camps
Once all of this is ready from both you and the children’s co-parent, you should meet to create your summer parenting schedule. You can speak to a New Jersey family law attorney as you prepare to plan your summer co-parenting plan to learn more about your rights and what you are able to do.
Consider Different Schedules
The ideal summer schedule for your family will depend on the plans you, your co-parent and your children have for the summer. There are several options you might consider when trying to design a plan that will make everyone happy. These include:
- Your standard co-parenting schedule
- The non-custodial parent having most of their parenting time during the summer
- A 2-2-3 split schedule, with one parent having the children for 2 days, the other parent having the children for 2 more days, then the first parent having the children for 3 days with each parent getting an extended weekend every other weekend
- A 3-4-4-3 split schedule, with one parent getting three days, the second parent getting 4 days, the first parent getting 4 days and the second parent getting 3 days with the children
How to Work Together to Create The Ideal Summer Parenting Plan
Cooperation is central to the success of this endeavor. Additionally, both parents need to be flexible about what they are willing to accept and give when it comes to negotiations. If you are struggling to reach an agreement, you might reach out to a New Jersey family law attorney to assist you with the process. Finally, parents should also have honest and clear communication through channels that work for both of them.
You should keep in mind, during the negotiations, that just like some events might be a must for you, your children’s other parent might also have similar events. Additionally, there might be events planned by your co-parent that fall on days you would normally have the children. However, it might be beneficial for the children to spend those days with their other parent so that they can participate in the event, such as family reunions, weddings, or graduations.
The Benefits of Planning Early
Taking the time to plan early has many benefits for all involved. These include:
- Peace of mind that your summer schedule is set
- Ability to budget correctly by taking advantage of vacation deals
- Reassurance that all important events and dates for the co-parents and the children are included in the plan
- Prevention of conflicts arising from last-minute or poor planning
Family Law Support When You Need It
Resolving family issues can be delicate, particularly when there are children involved. If you have questions about your Nwe Jersey parenting plan or custody agreement, Morgenstern and Rochester may be able to help. You can call us at (856) 489-6200 to schedule a consultation at our Cherry Hill office.