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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Child Custody > 3 Summer Co-Parenting Stress Traps And How To Avoid Them

3 Summer Co-Parenting Stress Traps And How To Avoid Them


Since the beginning of the modern school calendar, kids have spent the whole year looking forward to summer vacation, and parents have dreaded it.  Having to arrange childcare when your children are out of school but your work responsibilities continue unabated is no simple task.  Summer travel is a drain on your finances, and you look forward to an exciting change of scenery, while your children complain the whole time, or worse, stay glued to their devices.  The only thing more difficult than having to figure out how to keep your family financially solvent and engaged in wholesome activities is doing it with the knowledge that your ex-spouse’s veto vote can derail your plans at any minute.  For help drafting a parenting plan that prevents conflict year-round, contact a Birmingham child custody lawyer.

The “I’m Bored” Chorus

Sure, kids spend the whole year looking forward to summer vacation, but once the dog days arrive, they often find that it is not nearly as exhilarating as they had expected.  This problem is worse with middle school-aged children who are old enough to stay home unsupervised while their parents are at work but not old enough to hold part-time jobs or drive.  The parent with weekday parenting time gets confronted with a chorus of “I’m bored” every day upon returning home from work, plus a hefty serving of blame from the other parent about not doing more to keep the kids from being idle.

The best solution to this problem is to divide the weekday parenting time in the summer.  Even if your school year parenting plan is weeknights with Mom and weekends with Dad, you should change it in the summer so that one parent doesn’t get stuck with all the boredom days.  You can do alternating weeks or a 2-2-3-2-2-3 schedule.

Family Vacations That Impinge on the Other Parent’s Parenting Time

Planning summer travel is an exercise in frustrated hopes, even when you are happily married.  When your ex is planning a vacation that cuts into your parenting time or snarking about how you can afford plane tickets but not child support, it is even worse.

Summer travel is easier when each parent’s parenting time is in blocks of at least one week.  If that is not how your parenting plan works, then agree with your ex months in advance about when you will travel.  Even better, communicate this by email, so you have a paper trail.

Summer Is Teens’ First Taste of Independence

Things get complicated when your teen has a summer job or attends a high school students’ summer enrichment program at a university for several weeks.  Many parents must modify their parenting plans to accommodate teens’ new responsibilities.  High school-aged teens’ reasonable preferences are even a factor in determining children’s best interests in parenting plan decisions.

Contact Peeples Law About Summer Coparenting

A Birmingham family law attorney can help you prevent co-parenting conflict during summer vacation.  Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.



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