Summertime is here and that means school is out for children across Mississippi. Divorced parents may find that their summertime parenting schedule differs from the child custody and visitation schedule used during the school year. Often, the parent's divorce settlement or a court-ordered schedule will dictate how child custody and visitation will be handled over the summer. However, parents still need to be flexible during this time.
There may be any number of reasons why a parent would want to deviate from the agreed-upon summertime schedule, ranging anywhere from wanting to have the child over holidays, such as Father's Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day or taking a family vacation with the child. Therefore, it is important to keep things in perspective and stay flexible. For example, one spouse could let their ex deviate from the schedule during the summer in exchange for deviating from the schedule during another point in the year. Communication and good faith can be key in making such arrangements.
Moreover, try to make summertime plans as far in advance as possible. Not only can this be the considerate thing to do, but it can also help reduce the disruption such a change might have on a child's life.
Additionally, keep the child's best interests in mind. Cordiality can go a long way, and do not make the child the go-between messenger for the ex-spouses. Remember, children look to their parents as role models.
These are just a few tips for making summertime enjoyable both for parents and children post-divorce. While parents can agree out-of-court to deviate from a summer schedule, other times, they may need to go to court to hash things out. If so, it could help to have an attorney, to explain the legalities involved and advocate.
Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Tips to Prevent Discord While Sharing Custody of the Children Over the Summer," Steve Mindel, June 7, 2016