Divorced Parents and Parenting Plans for the Summer
In just a few short weeks, your children will be out of school for the summer. They are probably already looking forward to the freedom to sleep in and to spend time recreating with their friends. As a parent, you may also be excited for summer, but it is also common for parents to approach the extended break from school with at least some concerns. Such worries are often amplified for parents who share parental responsibilities with an ex-spouse. If you are subject to an Illinois parenting plan or custody agreement, it is important to prepare well in advance for the months ahead.
Review Your Existing Arrangements
Before planning any trips or summertime events, it is important to know what your parenting plan says about the summer break. Many parenting plans give the bulk of summer parenting time to the parent who sees the children less often during the school year—particularly if that parent lives relatively far away. Other plans keep a schedule similar to that which is in place during the school year. If your plan makes definitive arrangements regarding summer parenting time, you need to follow them or come up with a compromise so that both you and the other parent can enjoy the summer as well.
Keep in mind that even plans that do not involve the children directly must wait until you know for sure that arrangements for your children are set. For example, if your parenting plan says that your children are to spend the entire month of July with the other parent, you should make sure the other parent is aware of that fact before you book a vacation with your friends.
Making New Plans
If your parenting plan is vague about the summer, you and the other parent will need to coordinate your efforts. Begin planning early so that you know what will be happening. Getting a head start also allows you to keep your children in the loop as well.
It is also important for you to be flexible, at least to some degree. Summer is the ideal time for impromptu picnics, day trips, or visits to an amusement park. If your child’s other parent asks for extra parenting time so that your children can enjoy an unexpected surprise, consider granting the request. In most cases, the other parent will be willing to extend you a similar courtesy in exchange. Planning ahead, of course, is ideal, but sometimes, opportunities arise quickly, and a little flexibility on your part can help your children make the most of their summer.
Call Us for Help
If you need assistance in creating a summertime parenting schedule that protects your children’s best interests, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.