The school year, for many divorced parents, is ideal. There is a built-in schedule for your kids that can’t be fudged, overlooked, ignored, or changed when it comes to being in school, attending practice, or participating in other extracurricular activities. Summer, though, impacts the carefully calibrated schedule and the amount of time each of you have with your kid. Here’s how to survive the chaos.
1. Make a Parenting Plan
In summer, you have close to three months to fill. There is a natural push and pull between you and your ex and no one wants to come out the loser. Communicate about priorities and honor your divorce settlement to make sure you both have clear expectations, minimize conflicts, and have a summer parenting time schedule that’s doable for both of you.
2. Be Flexible…
Yes, the advice you just read was to stick to the plan, but it is summertime and plans do change. Instead of getting upset with yourself or your ex if your vacation week changes or a camp is cancelled, be as flexible as you can be without getting upset, especially if you know the shift wasn’t made out of spite. Being cooperative will work in both your favors and ensures your kids come first.
3. …But Set Boundaries
You don’t have to say yes to everything just to make things easier with your ex or your kids. If you set your summer boundaries at the start of the season, everyone can work toward respecting each other’s space and time. It can be very easy to get back into the same old arguments with your ex when you see each other or must engage about your kids’ schedules at a greater frequency. Remember that you’re simply enforcing the family time that was already agreed upon.
4. Reserve Time for Yourself
What many divorced parents discover during summer is that when their kids are off with their ex, they have downtime that doesn’t normally occur in a busy household – and it’s kinda nice. Don’t ignore this gift or feel guilty about it – after all, your kids are safe and happy with your ex who loves them. Take advantage of the silence and allow yourself time to find joy in big and small ways, from reading a book to taking a mini vacation with your best friend to ignoring housework on the weekend.
5. Rely on Your Divorce Attorney
If you find yourself in many difficult encounters with your ex, especially if they are not honoring your divorce settlement, rely on your divorce lawyer for help with things like post-judgment actions. Though your divorce may be over, when you have children the journey continues, and there are likely to be bumps along the way.
Work with the experienced divorce lawyers at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Schedule a consultation today.