Connecticut schools are out for the summer, and while summer may be full of long, fun-filled days for children, parents who are divorced need to work together to ensure their child’s summer experience is a positive one. The following are some tips on how to co-parent during the summer if you are divorced.

Review any existing parenting plans

First, it is important to review your existing child custody and visitation order. Child custody and visitation periods may differ during the summer months when the child is not in school. In addition, an existing child custody and visitation order may include details on who has the child during summer holidays such as the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

If these issues are not outlined in an existing parenting plan, parents may need to seek the assistance of a mediator or family law attorney to draft a mutually agreed-upon summertime parenting plan. Knowing what to expect during the summer can help parents provide the child with much-needed stability, and a review of an existing plan can address any changes to the parents’ or child’s life that may have happened since last summer.

How to take a trip with the child

Second, if a parent plans to take the child on an extended trip during the summer, these plans should be shared with their ex as soon as possible. Doing so ensures that both parents will know what to expect when it comes to vacations, especially if they conflict with one parent’s scheduled parenting time. The parent taking the child on vacation should provide their ex with details about the trip, including dates, addresses and contact information. Avoiding surprises can help parents ensure these trips are enjoyable for their child. An existing child custody and visitation order may also address the topic of taking trips during the summer.

Dealing with the unexpected

In addition, parents may need to be flexible during the summer to accommodate unexpected events such as sleepovers with friends, graduation parties and family reunions. Getting the child’s input with summer plans is important. Doing so can help the child adjust to summertime routines. Allowing the child to have contact your ex during your parenting time through phone calls, Skype sessions, text messages or email can help ensure your child has a positive, meaningful relationship with both you and your ex, especially if summertime changes make the child miss the other parent.

Seek legal assistance if necessary

Ultimately, co-parenting during the summer is important to ensure the child has an enjoyable summer. If you need to draft or modify a summertime parenting plan, it is important to work with family law attorneys in the Stamford area who offer strong and compassionate representation. Mediation can sometimes be valuable, but parents may also find they need a zealous advocate to ensure their child’s best interests are met. Child custody and visitation can be complex divorce issues, so ensuring you seek the advice of an attorney can be key when it comes to protecting both your rights and your child’s rights.