With the school year winding down, children will soon be out of school for the summer. Balancing the many summer-camps, sports-camps, play-dates, sleepovers, holidays, family parties, and out-of-town trips is difficult for any family but may be especially challenging when divorced parents are co-parenting. When you consider the limited number of childhood adventures for you and your child to enjoy together, it becomes clear how important it is to organize your plans in such a way as to maximize both your total summer enjoyment and quality time together.
Most children enjoy the fun and freedom associated with summertime, but separation and divorce can put a damper on what is considered by many to be the best time of the year. Whether you and your co-parent are currently separated, or are divorced, effectively co-parenting to manage your schedules with your child’s can help to create a happy and memorable summer for everyone.
Here are a few tips on how to best plan with your co-parent in order to optimize everyone’s summer experience:
- Plan it out together. Have the children and parents list activities they would like to do over the course of the summer. Be sure everyone’s choices are considered and discussed. Whenever possible, yield to your children’s wishes and support their choices. In the long-run it is better to support a happy child making a positive memory than to force an unhappy or unwilling child into an activity only you would prefer. If you force an issue, in the end, neither of you will be happy.
- Be Flexible. Children thrive when routines and structure are present. The summer, however, may require new routines. As co-parents, it is best to be flexible with each other during the summer months. Either parent may have additional demands on their time and/or events they would like their children to attend. Whenever possible, be willing to make changes to your parenting agreement to accommodate your co-parent’s summer schedule. If you and your co-parent agree to make summer changes to your parenting schedule, you may not need to modify your court order. However, it is best to consult your attorney if one or both of you would like to make permanent changes to your agreement.
- Avoid competing with your co-parent. Do your best to set your child and co-parent up for success if they are going away with each other on a trip. Do not compare the types of trips each of you plan. Children care less about where they are going and more about spending quality time with each parent.
- Plan and share costs. Summer camps, day-trips, and vacations are expensive. For the sake of your child, be as generous as you can with your co-parent. Remember, your child has a limited number of carefree summers; help to make the most of them.
Somerset Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC Help Clients Co-parenting in New Jersey
At the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC, our Somerset divorce lawyers have the experience to assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have regarding child support, child access or alimony in New Jersey. Our offices are located in Somerset, New Jersey, and we represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains. Contact us online or call 732-873-6464 today.