Child custody doesn't have to be a struggle, and in most cases, a good parenting plan goes a distance toward helping resolve disputes. When it comes to the school year, most parents know they need to work out who is home when their child is and who is available on the weekends or for events.
The summer changes everything, though. Some children have few extracurricular activities, and that means they'll be at home much more often. Others have dozens of activities and things they want to do, which can put a strain on working parents.
How can you address summer vacation and your custody plans? Here are three tips to start the summer off right.
1. Talk about your planned events and activities first
The first thing you know for sure is that you have plans and activities with specified dates. Those dates should be included in your parenting plan first with information on where you'll be, what you're doing and which parent should be present. Once you know which planned events you have to make time for, you can sit down and start working out the rest of your schedule.
2. Talk about the schedule early
It's a good idea to talk about a summer schedule well before summer vacation. If the custody arrangements need to change significantly or if a third party, like a daycare, has to become involved, you'll need to know ahead of time. Work out a schedule that defines where your child will be and who is responsible for his or her care.
3. Be flexible
The summer has lots to do and see, so it's important to be flexible. Last-minute family events or work concerns can make it necessary to switch visitation or custody arrangements with relatively short notice. Try to be fair and give as much notice as possible if there is a change that comes up.
Talking about custody in the summer early can spare you the frustration of arguments or disputes. Keep summer fun, and keep your child's best interests in mind.