If you’re divorced and you have kids, you might have already experienced the roller coaster of co-parenting. Vacations, barbecues, and camp to the equation do not make custody issues any easier.

Coordinating time is pretty simple when a family works together as a unit. However, shared custody can sometimes make planning tricky. Both you and your ex may want the same week to go on a trip with the kids or the same holiday to attend a BBQ. While your children get to enjoy extra fun with each parent, you and your ex may get an extra headache.

Navigating the waters with custody issues during spring and summer comes down to two best practice tips: communication and compromise. By offering a little more consideration to one another, shared custodial time won’t be impossible to figure out amid all the summer fun.

Communication: Let your kids’ other parent know about your plans as far in advance as possible. Tell them where you are going, when you will be traveling, transportation details, and anything else that you would want to know if it were the other way around. Hopefully, you’ll receive the same up-front courtesy in return.

Compromise: When it comes to summertime plans, try to be flexible with your ex. If they are willing to give you a desired week or holiday, consider doing the same for them. If your kids’ other parent got to spend July 4th with them, speak up if you would like to take them to the beach for a long weekend.

As you discuss your plans for the upcoming weeks, be sure to put all communication about your vacation plans with the kids in writing. Email is the best way to capture your conversation, should there ever be a dispute.  You will have documentation of what you discussed and agreed on.

Did you know you can make a year-round division of holiday time part of your divorce agreement? A holiday visitation schedule predetermines when each parent will celebrate with the kids. This special schedule takes priority over the typical custody schedule. Contact your attorney if you think this route might be helpful.

When you’re a divorced parent with children, a positive attitude and smart planning can go a long way. As always, decisions involving your kids should be in their best interest.

Feel free to share this article with anyone who may find it useful. Have a safe and happy spring!