You may not be ready to think about it yet, but it is only a matter of weeks before school is out and the kids are home for summer vacation. While you may have many fun things planned for the children, it is also true that your normal routine will likely go right out the window. This may be especially difficult to control if you are dealing with a shared custody arrangement.
When you and your ex were going through your divorce, custody was likely one of the sticking points. Undoubtedly, you each had your own ideas for what is best for the children, even if you agreed on the big picture. Whether you and your ex have an amicable co-parenting arrangement or you barely get through the custody exchanges, it is a good idea to begin as soon as possible making your plans for the end of the Texas school year.
Working it out as partners
Perhaps the most frustrating thing that can happen over the summer is to make reservations for a vacation with the kids only to find that your ex-spouse has already planned to take the children to a family reunion or some other event. To avoid this scenario and the potential for escalating tempers and disappointed children, you and your spouse would do well to schedule time to sit together and plan out your summer. Some of the details you may wish to discuss include the following and others:
- Will there be any conflicts with the parenting schedule as it stands?
- Will you need expanded daycare arrangements, or will you and your ex be able to cover the time when the children would normally be in school?
- Are there any birthdays or other family celebrations that you may need to attend together?
- How will you share or divide responsibility for taking children to summer activities, such as swimming lessons, sports or day camps?
- How will you handle unplanned events, such as your child asking to spend the night with a friend?
- Have the children mentioned anything special they would like to do over the summer that will require altering the custody schedule?
Of course, you and your co-parent will want to inform each other of any plans for vacations, with or without the children, and how that will affect each other's parenting time. With a spirit of cooperation, you and your ex may be able to organize a peaceful vacation for everyone without conflicts or disputes that could mar your children's break from school.