The Burden is on the Parent Seeking the Modification
The long awaited summer break is almost upon us, and while children and parents look forward to this time of year, it can add a bit of stress as daily routines and parenting time schedules are not quite as predictable. For a number of families, summer break might mean long distance time-sharing and that the children may be away from one of the parents for a longer period of time. This can create anxiety for children who are not used to spending time out of their normal surroundings or away from a parent.
Some parenting plans are more detailed about coordinating time-sharing during school breaks and holidays. It’s a good thing to have the original plan drafted in such a way that there is a clear understanding and defined structure. However, it is also important to understand a variety of situations do arise, children’s social and recreational activities evolve, parents remarry, family dynamics change, and unexpected opportunities can pop up at any time. Don’t assume that the schedule will change, but be prepared if that does happen. In Law We Trust, P.A., the divorce attorney firm for men, has a few ideas to make summertime a fun time with your children and help your family head off any misunderstandings or unnecessary tensions.
Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your summer parenting time. No matter the distance between the two parents’ homes or the length of the visit, you will need to plan around any summer school programs, sports, holidays, special events, and clubs etc.
No one wants to be disappointed when a commitment is made, planned for, and then broken. If a parent has arranged vacation around agreed upon time-sharing dates, it is unfair to change those plans, especially if at the last moment. Without a valid and unavoidable reason, don’t accept that being done to you and do not do it to the children’s other parent.
Planning the financial aspects of school breaks is also crucial. Summer camps or special activities, along with increased child care during school holidays will add expense. Whether it is during your parenting time or for an activity or event for the children that you and your ex have agreed upon, be prepared to budget appropriately.
It’s Always about the Best Interests of the Children
While it is understandable that you may already have summer parenting time spelled out in your parenting agreement, don’t get caught up on arranging only what works best for you. Depending on the ages of the children, give them an opportunity to offer input into their summer plans and see what creative solutions you can come up with to make vacation time as enjoyable as possible. Get the kids involved in the planning and make sure their expectations are realistic.
Be accommodating as much as possible. If your children participate in sports, try to fit their games and practice into the schedule. Also, keep in mind, no matter the age of the child, it may be stressful for them to be away from the primary home especially during long-distance time-sharing, so be patient. If you are the parent in the primary home, encourage and prepare your children for a positive experience with the other parent.
Often children will say they want to return to their primary home early, especially teenagers who miss their friends. Try to stick to the planned length of stay, and be prepared to develop a unified strategy with your ex about how to handle any problems that arise.
Be sure to make the children feel welcome when transitioning between households. They need to feel they have a space to call their own in every household.
Keeping Communication Open
Establish and adhere to a communication schedule for the children and their other parent. This can minimize conflict or misunderstanding and should include how and when the children will be in touch, as well as the method used. Never purposefully prevent or interfere with a child’s communications with the other parent.
Don’t get into the position of being manipulated into activities the other parent wouldn’t agree to while your children are with you. Be united with your ex about the rules.
Always keep open, honest, and cordial communications with your ex so you can work together when adjustments need to be made. While it is important for you to be flexible for the sake of the children, get the details about arrangements and changes in writing so your ex can’t claim that you are being uncooperative or aren’t adhering to the signed parenting plan.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys Specializing in the Rights of Fathers
The more detailed you are with your parenting plan, the fewer problems you will run into later on with your ex. The attorneys of In Law We Trust P.A. are well-versed in the challenges facing fathers during divorce and with time-sharing plans. We can offer sensible suggestions and strategies to help you and your children feel more secure and less anxious about all of the adjustments that inevitably occur during divorce.
Call The Family Law Experts Men Trust (813) 415-3510
In Law We Trust, P.A. is a premier firm of divorce lawyers representing men in family law proceedings. We are uniquely positioned to assist our clients with the challenges men face in Florida’s court system. Call us today and get the proper representation men need and deserve.