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Divorced parents: Start planning for summer custody now

Summer in Illinois may still feel far away, but in just a few short months, school will be out and the kids will be back at home. And for divorced parents, now is the time to start planning for the summer and how it will affect their child custody arrangement.

So, here are a few things parents should consider.

Prepare for a changing schedule

In many cases, the visitation and child custody schedule may not have to change. However, some parents decide to adjust the custody schedule and arrange longer visitation times for both parents during the summer to adapt to the child’s changed schedule.

Additionally, a parent’s work schedule will not often change during the summer. Therefore, parents might have to look for childcare options, activities or summer camps for the children while they are at work. In these situations, it is critical to:

  1. Talk to the kids and see what activities they would be interested in; and
  2. Make decisions together with the other parent regarding childcare.

Planning a vacation? Be proactive

Summer break is when many families plan vacations. This is no exception after a divorce. However, divorced parents must ensure:

  • They plan the trip in advance;
  • They review the custody schedule and compare it with vacation dates; and
  • That both parents receive equal vacation time with the kids.

Parents must make sure they communicate with each other about vacation plans to avoid disputes. It is also helpful to include a plan for vacation time in the parenting plan itself.

Co-parent collaboration may have to increase

During the summer, co-parents will likely have to communicate and cooperate more than they do in the school year. After all, without the routine of school, the amount of parenting time will increase for both parents.

More parenting time overall will require parents to work together and ensure they continue to meet their child’s needs and provide them with a stable environment this coming summer.