Tag Archive for: co-parenting tips

Summer Break Tips for Recently Divorced Parents

With the end of the school year quickly approaching in the Chicagoland area, parents are preparing to have their kids back home full-time. For recently divorced parents, summer break can come with its own set of complexities and emotions.

More than a million U.S. children are affected by divorce each year, and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly 50% of American children will witness their parents’ divorce. Navigating the intricacies of handling divorce is crucial to helping children experience a stress-free and enjoyable summer. Whether you’re facing your first summer as a single parent or a seasoned co-parent, here are some essential tips to help you navigate summer break smoothly.

Understanding Parental Responsibilities

Summer schedules can become complex quickly, with changes in parenting arrangements and the need to coordinate holiday time with a former spouse. Parental responsibilities encompass both parenting time and decision-making authority. Parenting time, formerly called “visitation,” outlines the schedule for each parent’s time with the children. A family court judge determines and approves this schedule and intervenes if parents cannot agree.

Decision-making authority pertains to significant aspects of the child’s life, including education, health care, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. Divorced parents can share these responsibilities jointly or allocate them into specific categories. If the parents can’t agree on who gets what responsibility, the Illinois family court judge will allocate those responsibilities among them. Let’s explore some tips to help make your co-parenting a breeze this summer.

Flexibility is Key for Divorced Parents

As the anticipation of summer builds, sitting down with your ex-partner to discuss and plan the upcoming summer schedule ahead of time is crucial. This proactive approach helps coordinate vacations, camps, and other summer activities. A well-thought-out plan can help parents and children look forward to an exciting and memorable summer. With a clear plan, you can preempt last-minute conflicts and ensure that both parents enjoy quality time with their children during this special time of year.

In co-parenting, flexibility is crucial, especially during the summer months when schedules tend to be more fluid. Remember that flexibility benefits you and contributes to a positive experience for your children. By embracing flexibility and working with your ex-partner, you can create a summer filled with cherished memories for the whole family.

Have Clear Holiday Parenting Plans

Summer break often means a break from the usual routine. And if you’re newly divorced parents, it can be a stressful time trying to navigate the change without disturbing the peace. A clear co-parenting plan can provide stability and predictability for you and your children. Take this opportunity to revisit your parenting plan and how you and your ex-spouse share outlined responsibilities and decisions regarding your children. 

If you’re unsure about how to create or modify your co-parenting plan, seeking the assistance of a family law attorney can be incredibly valuable. A family law attorney can offer guidance and legal advice to help you develop a plan that provides clarity and structure throughout the summer season.

Open Communication is Key

Summer is often filled with special occasions and planned trips. Keeping the lines of communication open is a proactive way to discuss any concerns or potential changes to the schedule. This level of openness promotes transparency and can help reassure children that summer can still be enjoyable despite changes in the family dynamic. 

Regular check-ins help ensure that both parents are on the same page. Whether it’s a quick phone call, text message, or face-to-face meeting, check-ins provide an opportunity to address any issues. By prioritizing open communication, you can foster a cooperative co-parenting environment that benefits everyone involved.

Put Your Children First

Parents, caregivers, and educators play a vital role in supporting children emotionally during and after a divorce. Research indicates that children often face significant challenges during this period, particularly in the first year or two post-divorce. It’s crucial to recognize that each child is unique, with their own set of feelings and needs.

Pay close attention to your children’s emotions and requirements, offering support if they struggle with the changes brought about by the divorce. While disagreements may naturally arise, strive to minimize conflicts, especially when in the presence of the children. Cultivate a positive co-parenting relationship, placing the well-being of your children at the forefront of your priorities.

However, if conflicts persist despite efforts to resolve them amicably, seeking assistance from a family law attorney may be necessary. They can provide guidance and support to help navigate legal complexities while ensuring the best interests of your children remain the primary focus.

Work with a Family Law Attorney

If you’re facing significant challenges or disagreements with your co-parent, consider seeking guidance from a family law attorney. An experienced family law attorney can help by providing valuable advice and helping you navigate complex legal issues related to custody, visitation, and parenting plans. 

At Masters Law Group, our family law attorneys focus on helping clients assert their rights to further the best interests of their children. Attorney Erin E. Masters is a court-appointed Child Representative with experience advocating for children in these high-conflict matters. Attorney Anthony G. Joseph is an approved Guardian Ad Litem/Child Representatives list for the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

With a strong focus on assisting clients in Cook County and DuPage County, Illinois, we offer various services to help parents, children, and families through difficult times like Divorce, Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, and more.

Final Thoughts

Summer break can be a time of fun and relaxation for both parents and children, even after a divorce. By planning ahead of time and communicating effectively to put your children’s best interests first, you can easily navigate the summer months. 

If you require legal assistance, contact a member of our legal team today. Our family law attorneys will work with you to develop an appropriate action plan for your unique needs and goals. We will work diligently on your behalf and provide regular updates.

Contact us today to set up a complimentary consultation.