Summer Break & Co-Parenting

Summer break is an exciting time for kids. They get to sleep in, swim, and play all day. However, for divorced or separated parents, this time can be challenging. Co-parenting during summer break can often be stressful when trying to make sure both parents get enough quality time with their children while also ensuring the kids have a great summer experience.  

Without proper planning, summer break can become chaotic and leave both parents feeling overwhelmed. In this blog post, we will explore some essential tips on co-parenting during summer break that will help you and your co-parent work together to ensure your children have a fun, fulfilling summer experience.  

How Do Parents Divide Summer Break? 

There are several schedules parents can consider during the summer break. Here are some examples: 

  • Alternating weeks. Parents can alternate weeks, where the child spends one week with one parent and the next week with the other. 

  • Weekends with one parent. One parent can have their child every weekend during the summer. 

  • Splitting time 50/50. The child can spend half of the summer break with one parent and half with the other. 

Tips for Co-Parenting During the Summer 

When co-parenting, it can be difficult to balance schedules, priorities, and decisions about your child's well-being. Summer vacation is an especially challenging time for co-parents because of the extended time children are out of school and the desire to create special experiences for them.  

While co-parenting during the summer can be challenging, with effective planning and communication, it is possible for both you and your child to enjoy a fun and stress-free summer. Here are some tips to help you navigate co-parenting during the summer season:  

Plan Ahead 

At the start of summer, sit down with your co-parent and plan for the summer. Review your parenting plan to remind yourselves how you divided the break itself and important dates such as holidays, summer camps, and vacations. During this time, you can also discuss whether either party wants to plan a trip with their child out of state or abroad (to obtain the other party’s permission).  

Planning helps both parents be on the same page and avoid conflicts. In addition, this can also help alleviate your child’s stress by knowing what to expect throughout the summer. 

Vacations & Child Custody 

Before continuing, it is important that we discuss frequently asked questions concerning vacationing with your child when you have joint custody.  

  • Can you legally travel out of state with your child when your custody case is still pending? If you want to travel out of state (or abroad), you will need to obtain written permission from the other parent or obtain a court order; the other party will also need to sign the travel consent letter. In some cases, existing court orders may prohibit a parent from taking a child out of state without the other parent's consent. Additionally, a parent's ability to travel out of state may be limited if the other parent has expressed safety or well-being concerns regarding the child. It is important to consult with a family law attorney and review any existing court orders or agreements before traveling out of state with a child during a pending custody case. 

  • Do you need the other parent’s permission to travel out of state once custody is finalized? Yes, in most cases, you will need to get permission from the other party to travel out of the state or country, especially in cases where the other parent may miss their court-ordered visitation. If you cannot get in contact with the other party, you can ask the court for permission and will need to provide proof that you tried to contact the other parent. You should also review your custody orders as some parents include terms or restrictions about whether you can leave the state or country.  

  • What documentation should I ask my co-parent for if they are traveling with our child? You can ask the other party to tell you general information about who will be traveling with them; whether they will be staying; how you can contact them; a general outline of their travel itinerary; how long the trip will be; whether the trip affects your court-ordered visitation or custody schedule; etc.  

Communicate Regularly 

Communication is key when it comes to co-parenting, especially during the summer when there are so many activities and events. Keep your co-parent informed about your child's activities, doctor appointments, and any other essential information regarding your child’s well-being. Frequent communication can help prevent last-minute surprises or conflicts. 

Be Flexible 

Flexibility is important when co-parenting during the summer. When plans change, try to be as accommodating as possible. Make sure both parents are aware of any changes in schedules and try to find a solution that works for everyone. Remember, the goal is to provide your child with the best summer experience possible. 

Continue to Maintain Consistency  

Consistency is important for children, especially during a period of change like the summer months. Establishing consistent routines and rules between both households can help your child feel comfortable and secure. This can include things like bedtimes, mealtimes, and screen time limits. Consistency also helps to prevent miscommunications and conflicts between co-parents. 

Have Fun & Make New Memories Together 

Summer is a time for creating lasting memories with your child. Consider celebrating milestones together, such as graduations, birthdays, or important achievements, and making new memories and traditions with your child. This can help your child feel loved and supported by both parents. 

Need help with filing or modifying a child custody order? Contact The Neshanian Law Firm, Inc today for legal counsel. Call (949) 577-7935.