AVOIDING SUMMER BREAK ARGUMENTS WITH YOUR CO-PARENT
It’s hard to believe another school year is almost at its end. Like most California parents, when you look back on the past year, you may notice that your children have done a lot of growing in many ways. Perhaps one joined a sports team or earned honors on his or her report card. Maybe one of your children is a struggling learner and you noticed great effort on his or her part to try to overcome those challenges. If you recently divorced, this may prompt challenges, as well.
For instance, have you and your ex worked out an agreement for summertime? Who will watch the kids while you both work? Will they attend summer camps? If so, who will pay for it all? The sooner you get the terms of your summer co-parenting agreement in writing, the better. Otherwise, you might run into a few legal complications while your kids are on vacation from school.
No one wants to spend the summer arguing
While it’s not uncommon for divorced parents to disagree on child-related issues, the last thing you need is to spend your whole summer bickering with your ex about your co-parenting arrangement. The following list includes ideas that may be help you avoid problems:
- Keep your children’s best interests in mind. Remember that, even though you’re no longer in a relationship as spouses, you are a parenting team, and the more you can make it about them, the easier it will be to avoid conflict.
- It helps to create a list of special summer issues, such as if one of your kids has to attend summer school or will be traveling with a sports team. Working out the logistics on paper can help avoid problems when someone needs a ride.
- Co-parenting is not a competition. The more willing you both are to work as a team, the more able to enjoy summer everyone involved might be.
- Be willing to compromise and cooperate as needed. If your spouse asks you to switch driving days and you’re able to do it, there’s really no reason to say no.
- Co-parents have different ways of doing things. Your way is your way, your ex’s is your ex’s, and everyone benefits from minding their own business.
If this is your first post-divorce summer, it might be particularly challenging. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Whether that means enlisting support from extended family members, babysitters or others, it’s okay to use whatever resources you have available to keep stress levels as low as possible. If someone is struggling emotionally, you might consider seeking guidance from a licensed family counselor.
If the problem at hand is a legal matter
No two families cope with divorce in exactly the same way. However, there are certain common issues that often arise when co-parents are navigating summer vacations together for the first time. Many California parents stay closely connected to experienced family law attorneys so they can access immediate legal support if they feel ill-equipped to handle a particular issue on their own.