Navigating Divorce Mediation: Summer Plans, Travel, And Camps

Summer is a season of warmth, freedom, and fun.  For children of divorced or separated parents, it can also bring uncertainty and stress. With the right approach to co-parenting and mediation, however, you can create a harmonious environment that allows your children to enjoy the summer season to its fullest.

Co-Parenting During Summer

Whether you’re planning a summer vacation or scheduling attendance to summer camps, effective co-parenting can make the process smoother. Here are some tips:

  • Start Planning Early: To avoid last-minute confusion, start discussing summer plans with your co-parent well ahead of time. Consider using parenting apps like Our Family Wizard or Coparently to streamline communication.
  • Determine Child Care: Establish who will take care of the children during summer and discuss possible child care options, such as day camps or shared nanny services.
  • Discuss Finances: Address costs for camps, activities, and summer clothes beforehand to avoid disagreements.
  • Flexibility is Key: Even with a predetermined schedule, unexpected situations can arise. Be prepared to handle them calmly.
  • Practice Self-Care: It’s essential to take care of your emotional and physical well-being, especially if your children will spend an extended period with the other parent.

Understanding Custody Agreements And Summer Plans

Your parenting plan agreement plays a crucial role in planning summer activities, vacations, and camps. It’s important to understand the difference between legal custody (legal decision-making) and physical custody (parenting time) and how they impact your decision-making rights.

  • Activities: Typically, the parent who has physical custody decides the children’s activities during their parenting time unless expressly stated otherwise in the Parenting Plan.  To avoid unintended conflict, it’s a good idea to clarify who will schedule and pay for summer activities.
  • Vacations: Your Parenting Plan will usually designate a holiday and vacation schedule.  As long as it doesn’t interfere with the other parent’s scheduled parenting time, the physical custody holder can plan vacations during their time.  Because vacation and holiday plans can often go awry or there may be last minute changes, it helps to be flexible with each other so that everyone has a conflict-free holiday. If there may be times when both parents want the same summer vacation time, your Parenting Plan should have a “tie-breaker” provision such that one parent’s preference prevails in even years and the other’s in odd years.t.

Mediation And Summer Activities

In divorce mediation, summer activities often become a topic of discussion. To avoid future conflicts, your mediation agreement should clearly define the rules and responsibilities for each parent. This includes:

  • Sports: Address questions like which sports your children will participate in, who pays for equipment, and how transportation to events will be managed.
  • Summer Camps: Discuss concerns like extended periods away from home, safety, appropriate age for attendance, payment, transportation, and how the camp duration affects parenting time.
  • Music, Drama, Dance: These activities often require significant time and financial commitments. Decide how you’ll handle practices, instrument costs, and social media promotion.

Final Thoughts

Summer should be a time of joy and fun for your children. By having a comprehensive and fair agreement in place, you can ensure the best for your family. We believe that divorce may end a legal marriage, but it doesn’t end a family. With the right approach to divorce mediation, you can create a harmonious summer environment that keeps your family ties strong.

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