How should we negotiate summer vacations?

For most children, time off from school consists of sleeping in, hanging out with friends and going on family vacations. These aspects of summer vacation should not be different for children of divorced parents. When considering your summer schedule, negotiating your way through scheduling vacations may help give your child their best summer ever.

For divorced parents there are typically two styles of communication. Parents may co-parent civilly or have a difficult time communicating at all. Parents that remain civil after divorce can usually work out a summer or vacation schedule that is in everyone’s best interest. Parents that have joint custody with 50-50 placement may simply trade days. This type of cooperation may be in everyones best interest as it makes the planning process easier and allows for some fun summer travel for children.

When parents have a difficult time communicating, negotiating anything is a huge pain. If this is the case, there are other more hands off ways to handle vacation and summer scheduling. Divorced parents may choose to work with their attorneys to designate vacation time between families. They may also opt to sign up for an online communication tool. These resources are often suggested if not required by family courts.

Many states offer Our Family Wizard or a resource similar to it. Using these online communication tools can make scheduling of vacation time trading days a much easier task. Regardless of how you and your ex-spouse have historically handled the scheduling of summer and vacation days, working with an attorney or using an online scheduling tool may help alleviate some of the frustration related to co-parenting.