When you have children, figuring out how to split up parenting time will probably be one of the hardest parts of getting an Illinois divorce.
You and your ex will likely have strong feelings about wanting as much quality time with the children as possible, and neither of you may want to make concessions when it comes to being there with the kids for special occasions.
Holidays and birthdays can be a source of conflict when planning for co-parenting. The same is often true of summer vacation. With more than two full months of time away from class, the summer is the perfect opportunity for bonding time with your children.
How can you and your ex make sharing this summer fair for your family?
1. Put rules in place about limitations on vacations
No one wants to be the bad guy, but sometimes one parent has to tell the other a firm “no” when it comes to travel plans during summer vacation. The easiest way to avoiding conflict is to put specific rules in your parenting plan.
Limiting how far either of you can travel with the kids, how long a vacation trip can last or even how much either of you can spend can help stave off arguments about one parent expecting too much time or spending too much money in a transparent attempt to seem like the fun parent.
2. Figure out a way to share all of that free time fairly
Custody arrangements that work during the school year will not necessarily work during the summer. One parent could have custody during the week without issue because the children are at school. That doesn’t mean they must suddenly assume responsibility for child care throughout the whole summer.
The age of your children and their unique needs will influence what kinds of care and support your family require during the summer months. Some parents split weeks, others have the children switch between homes every other week. You will have to determine what is a fair way to share the additional parent time obligations of summer.
Co-parenting often requires a careful assessment of what the children need and what each parent is capable of providing. The more thought you put into your parenting plan, the easier it will be for you to share parental responsibilities after your divorce.