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Post-divorce: Summer parenting plans

As summer fast approaches, parents must once again prepare to have their children home full-time.

Divorced parents who share custody of their children often face more stress to prepare for this situation. So, what should parents consider for their summer parenting plan?

1. Establish a working schedule

Parents in Virginia can maintain their current custody and parenting schedule or adjust it so both parents have more time with their kids. For example, in the summer, parents with joint custody might shift to a bi-weekly arrangement, so both parents can spend more time with their children and there are fewer custody transfers.

Whichever arrangement parents choose, they should:

  • Make sure they put their children first;
  • Be flexible and willing to compromise; and
  • Respect each other’s parenting time.

Sticking to an established schedule helps to reduce the family’s stress – as well as the chance of disputes between parents. If parents are willing to compromise, they can create a schedule and parenting plan that works best for the whole family.

2. Plan for childcare

Divorced parents must work together to plan for summer childcare. This is especially true if both parents work full-time jobs. They should consider options. For example:

  • Will they send children to daycare?
  • Will they hire a regular babysitter or nanny?
  • Will they turn to family to watch children while at work?

Parents must create a childcare plan they can both agree on. It might be helpful for the whole family to sit down and discuss the details of such a plan before the summer begins.

3. Communicate about summer plans

Generally, summertime involves several plans, including:

  • Vacations and day trips;
  • Visits with family; and
  • Sporting events, summer camps and activities.

So, parents must ensure they communicate with each other about summer plans long before these plans occur. Carefully consider the details and logistics of these plans, and keep the other parent informed at all times.

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