Summer often means different timesharing schedules for co-parents than the regular school year, and comes with its own set of logistical and emotional challenges. From accommodating vacations and summer camps, it can also often mean going longer stretches without seeing your children. As a divorce lawyer and a mom who has been divorced for the last 13 years, I have navigated many summers as a co-parent. These are 3 of my best tips for successfully co-parenting this summer.
1. Work With Each Other
Every year before the summer, my ex and I meet up with our calendars to coordinate our schedules. We go over our planned summer vacations, summer camps for the kids, grandparent visits, etc… We work together when one of us may need an accommodation outside of our timesharing plan to make plans work, and find ways to make up the time elsewhere.
2. Honor Each Other’s Time
It’s only natural to miss your children while they are away from you for long stretches, and it’s good to check in with them. But my advice: keep it short and sweet. Don’t intrude on your ex’s time. Give your kids the space to fully bond and enjoy their time with their other parent, just as you would want the same in return. I have found that setting the tone for generosity with one another goes a long way in making us successful co-parents.
3. Consider a Mid-Week Meet Up
Our school year timesharing plan is 2-2-3 meaning we are used to seeing our children regularly, and because we live close to one another this arrangement works best for our children. During the summers however, we move to a one week on/one week off schedule to accommodate for vacations and visits with extended family. My ex and I decided to add a mid-week meet up during the summer. This allows the non-timesharing parent a 4 hour lunch or dinner time block mid week. This is beneficial to both of us. It gives the timesharing parent a little breather, and keeps the non-timesharing parent from going so long without seeing the kids. Obviously this only works when vacations are not scheduled, but it has been a great addition to our summer schedule.
Keep these tips in mind if you and your ex are able to work together or if you are considering a divorce and contemplating parenting plan options. Please reach out if you need help in creating a timesharing schedule that will actually work for your family. As a divorce attorney who has also actually lived a parenting plan herself, I know how to make it doable for your family.