School vacations typically bring children a welcome break from their daily routine. However, when their parents are recently divorced, breaks from this routine can cause stress and anxiety. It is up to the parents to establish a co-parenting schedule that works for everyone.
Although summer vacation has ended, we have provided some co-parenting tips for future summer breaks and vacations from school to make this transition as easy as possible for your child.
1. Use an Online Calendar for Scheduled Events
For many families, school vacations are extremely busy. In addition to your child's programs, day camps or sports, many families schedule big holiday meals or family reunions around the time when children are out of school. Consider using a shared online calendar to help you and your ex-spouse keep track of your scheduled events.
2. Plan Your Parenting Schedule in Advance
It is important to begin considering your vacation schedule early. Let your ex-spouse know about any planned vacations. Early planning will give both parents a chance to address any scheduling concerns and reduce any frustration in the future. It will also give you both the opportunity to discuss the potential of signing your child up for activities during the break and working out the parenting schedule accordingly.
3. Find out How Your Child Wants to Spend Their Break
Try not to over-schedule your child during the break. Listen to them, and find out how they want to spend their vacation time. Breaks from school can be an excellent time to pursue activities that interest them.
4. Encourage Your Child to Spend Time with Your Ex-Spouse
Encourage your child to spend time with the other parent and maintain a strong, parental relationship with them. Avoid speaking poorly of your ex-spouse in front of your child.
5. Follow a Parenting Plan
Make sure you follow a parenting plan to determine how the holidays and vacation time will be divided. If your vacation plans fall outside the time you've been granted with your child, you may be able to come to an agreement with your ex-spouse. If you do make changes to the schedule, set forth in the parenting plan, it is best to put the agreement in writing.
6. Maintain Good Communication with Your Ex-Spouse
Although planning is essential, it is also important to be flexible. Sometimes it is necessary to change the parenting schedule. Maintaining good communication is important when co-parenting after a divorce. Communicate directly with your ex-spouse and do not rely on your child to pass on information. Give as much notice as possible about any schedule changes.
7. Review Your Parenting Plan Regularly
As children grow older, their interests and need for supervision change. Review your parenting plan regularly to make sure it accommodates your child's needs and interests.
8. Create Rules for Your Ex-Spouse to Follow
Be clear with your ex-spouse about any rules you expect them to follow, and take note of their concerns. Is your child allowed to be left home alone for any period of time? Do they need to be in bed at a certain time? Do you have certain babysitters or family members that you trust to take care of your child? Discussing these important issues will help you prevent conflict during your child's vacation.
At Segarra & Associates, P.A., we believe that these co-parenting tips are beneficial to follow, so that your child doesn't become overwhelmed with stress or anxiety at the thought of a break or vacation from school. If you and your ex-spouse are unable to agree on a parenting schedule, our team of dedicated Miami divorce lawyers is here to help. Contact us today for a consultation!