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How divorced parents can help keep summer drama-free

Summer can be one of the most difficult, stressful times for divorced parents. One or both of you may want to take the kids on vacation. You've got Father's Day and the Fourth of July to consider. Of course, if you're both working, you have to determine where the kids are going to be during the day.

However, the summer parenting schedule doesn't have to be filled with drama. Even if you and your ex aren't friendly, with planning and communication you can make it work fairly smoothly for yourselves and -- most importantly -- for your kids. Remember, their summers should be about having fun, and not about when Mom and Dad are going to have their next fight.

It's generally a good idea for divorcing couples to include summer schedules and holidays in their parenting plan. That can help prevent problems later on.

Even if you have such stipulations in your court documents, it's still important to plan ahead, preferably with your spouse. Make sure your ex doesn't object to where you plan to take the kids or when before you make reservations.

If there are limitations regarding how far you or your ex can travel with the kids, that needs to be considered, particularly if you're planning to take them out of the country. Check with your attorney to make sure that you're not violating any court orders.

It's best not to object to or try to interfere with your ex's vacation or holiday plans for the kids unless they're truly unreasonable. Generally, when one person causes a problem, the other is more likely to repay them in kind. If you're flexible, on the other hand, even when you don't need to be, your ex may be more willing to be also.

If you and your ex have problems with the summer schedule, it may be necessary to take some legal steps, at least before next summer rolls around. However, remember that your kids' wishes and needs will change as they get older, and you don't want to be heading back to court every spring. That's why planning, communication and flexibility on the part of both parents are so important.

Source: Huffington Post, "How To Get Through The Summer If You’re Going Through A Divorce," Jason Levoy, May 25, 2016

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