Sharing a child with a parent with whom you aren't in a relationship with is a taxing process. One of the considerations you have to think about is how the summer months with your child will work.
While it might seem like you have plenty of time to plan, now is the time to start making those summer plans. Remember these points as you get started.
#1: Know the dates
Review the child custody paperwork to determine what dates you will have your child with you. This is important because it lets you know when you should plan vacations with or without your child. It might be helpful to grab a calendar and highlight the dates that you will have your child.
#2: Plan your vacation
Now that you have the dates down, you can plan the vacation. Make sure that you leave ample time for travel. If you are flying, you might not want to book flights on the day that you exchange custody of your child with your ex.
#3: Remember child care
Even if you aren't planning a vacation, you still need to plan for the summer. You need to find child care for your child if necessary. Even if your child is older, you might still want to look into activities for your child when he or she is at your home. If possible, you might want to try to schedule time off of work when your child is with you.
#4: Inform the other parent
You need to let the other parent know about your plans. Even if the child custody order doesn't require this, it is a show of good faith to let him or her know. This might work in your favor if something goes amiss and you need to change the child custody exchange date, time or location because of a change in travel plans. You may have to let the other parent know even if you would rather not because many child custody orders require this.
#5: Put your child first
Make plans for your child to communicate with the other parent during the vacation or time at your home. This truly puts your child first since it gives the child a chance to share the experiences they are having with the other parent.
#6: Seek help with issues
Some child custody orders might not lay out clear plans for the summer months. If you and your ex can work things out, you won't have anything to worry about. If you can't, you may need to turn to mediation or the court to work out a summer schedule.