When parents who share custody get stressed and angry with one another, their negative emotions tend to affect their children. The summer months are typically a time of joy, relaxation and exploration for children. However, they could be a time of intense stress if their parents don’t already have a plan regarding how they will share custody during this break from school.

The adults in the family can put together a plan ahead of time to schedule summer break without any major conflicts. These are some of the most important considerations to address ahead of time for co-parenting concerning the summer months.

The family schedule will probably change

There are numerous considerations that will put pressure on the parents during the summer. Not being in school is relaxing for the children, but it may mean that the family needs daycare services if both parents work. The daily routine for the children and also the schedule for the overall division of parenting time may need to change. Parents may need to schedule around summer camps and also negotiate how to share the costs for a child’s time at camp. Even the schedule for custody exchanges may require careful adjustment during the summer months.

There are multiple schedules that can work for the family when there isn’t a school drop off and pick up to handle every weekday. The age of the children will play a major role in the right parenting schedule. Although the summer months do allow for two weeks or more at each parent’s house, that long separation would not be beneficial for grade-school-aged or younger children. Parents may want to split the weeks or alternate them.

In situations with older children and a longer distance between the parents, the children might even spend the whole summer with one parent. Families with younger children may want to try the 2-2-3 schedule, where the children spend two days with each parent and then a long weekend with one parent. The parent with the three-day weekend alternates every other week throughout the summer, giving the children plenty of time with both parents.

The summer months often offer unexpected opportunities for adventure, which might mean that parents need to be ready to change their arrangements with little forewarning. Communicating in writing and keeping the conversation as focused on the children as possible can make the frequent communication necessitated by the summer schedule less likely to lead to conflict between the adults. If parents can work together and have plans in place ahead of time, the summer months can be and enjoyable experience for everyone in the family.