As any parent in a child custody arrangement knows, summer brings a unique array of co-parenting challenges. From figuring out how to co-parent children on summer break to rearranging vacation and work schedules, summer can be stressful for co-parents.
The COVID-19 pandemic that absorbed so much of spring may also have effects that carry over into the summer, further complicating manners. Taking the right steps can help you co-parent more effectively this summer.
How to Make Summer Co-Parenting Easy
To help you out, my team here at The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider has compiled a list of tips and tricks you can use to make co-parenting less stressful this summer:
- Figure out where to exchange custody. For many parents, schools act as the primary location to transfer custody. Find another neutral place you can exchange custody. As a bonus, you can also use the new location if a crisis or societal event like COVID-19 shuts down schools in the future.
- Exchange vacation schedules. Summer is one of the most popular times to take a vacation, but many parents also have tight work schedules. It's possible that your holiday may not align with your child custody schedule, so iron out any details ahead of time to prevent miscommunication. You should also exchange information about your vacations to ensure neither parent takes the children on a holiday that makes the other parent uncomfortable or anxious (within reason, of course).
- Address your child's education. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in schools across the country closing their doors, requiring children to learn online (often with the help of parents). Many parents worry that, during this time, their children have fallen behind academically. If you have similar concerns about your child, start discussing what you can do to get them back on track. Is there a free or low-cost summer school option near you? What about tutoring? Both parents need to be on board with whatever summer education plan you devise, so make sure to discuss it in detail.
- Discuss how to handle COVID-19 over the summer. Many states and counties are relaxing their restrictions on social distancing and safety wear such as masks or gloves. Both parents should agree on what precautions they'll take over the summer to keep their child (and each other) safe. Will you still wear masks? What about social distancing? Can your children have playdates or hang out with friends? If so, what precautions will you take? Having a plan in place can afford both parents precious peace of mind.
- Talk about how you'll handle COVID-19 at the start of the school year. A "second wave" of COVID-19 may surge around the beginning of the 2020 school year. What will you do? Will you pull your children out of school if there are confirmed cases? Will you ask other parents to confirm their child is COVID-free before allowing a playdate? Thinking ahead can help you protect your children.
Co-parenting over the summer can be challenging, especially in the wake of an event like COVID-19. But taking the right steps can help you, your children, and your co-parent make the most of summer.
At The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider, I work with parents to help them navigate child custody cases with confidence.
To arrange a consultation with my firm, contact me online or via phone at (619) 304-8499.