Summer Vacation Tips for Separated or Divorced Parents
Summer vacation is about to begin in Montgomery County, Maryland which means school time schedules are about to change. How does summer effect separated or divorced families? For many, summer vacation means added stress in trying to modify schedules to adjust to camp, vacations, and less structure.
Here are some tips to make adjusting to a summer schedule easier for you and your children:
- If you have a Parenting Plan, review it. Does anything need to bemodified? Make sure vacations and camp schedules do not conflict with parenting times, and if they do, try to work out a compromise in advance. Do you need additional child care? If so, make sure you and your former spouse have discussed options and made arrangements.
- Try to maintain some consistency. While rules may be more relaxed in the summer, it is helpful for children to have similar rules in both households. Discuss expectations with your spouse or former spouse to try and maintain comparable rules in both homes.
- If you are planning to travel with your children, make sure you are prepared. Review your Agreement to make sure there are no restrictions on traveling with your children. Do you need to provide your former spouse with details about your trip? Even if your Agreement or Order does not provide for this, it is common courtesy to provide the non-traveling parent with an itinerary of the trip. Will your children be able to communicate with their other parent while they are away? Make sure their other parent has all necessary contact information. If passports are needed, make sure they are in order and the other parent has provided permission for the children to travel out of the country, if necessary.
- Have a realistic financial budget. Now that you are separated or divorced your financial situation may not allow you to take a big summer vacation. Even if the other parent can still afford a fancy trip, it does not mean you have to do the same. There are many local activities that you and your children can enjoy. Instead of a week long stay at the beach, you can go for a long weekend. Plan a day trip to an amusement park or plan to try several different parks during the summer. Take advantage of the museums, monuments, and other free or nearly free, activities DC has to offer. Check Groupon or Living Social for fun summer deals on activities for you and your children. With a little planning you and your children can have a terrific summer without spending a fortune.
If you follow these tips your summer should be less stressful and more enjoyable. If you find that you and your spouse are having difficulty agreeing on summer plans, Hess Family Law is happy to assist you in resolving your dispute.