Co-parenting children with an ex-spouse can be challenging and frustrating. However, it is also an opportunity for a fresh start. If you are a parent who is recently divorced or plans to divorce soon, you may already be thinking ahead to the summer. When children are out of school on summer vacation, schedules and routines that were established during the school year can fall apart. Understandably, this can make managing a two-household family a bit more difficult for everyone involved.
There is no way to completely eliminate the stress that comes with co-parenting after divorce, but the following tips may help you and your family make the most of the upcoming summer months.
Comply with the Terms of Your Parenting Plan
When Illinois parents divorce, they create a Parenting Plan that outlines the parenting time schedule and other important matters. If parents cannot agree on the terms of the Parenting Plan, the court determines the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time for them. Following the provisions of the Parenting Plan is crucial not only because it is a legally binding court order, but also because children thrive in consistency.
Realize That There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Parent
Some divorced parents put too much pressure on themselves. They compare themselves to other divorced parents and judge the quality of their co-parenting abilities against others. Social media only adds to this tendency. Remember, no parent is perfect. As long as your children are safe and loved, that is all that matters.
Make Sure You Share Travel Plans with the Other Parent
If you intend to take the children on vacation, make sure to inform the other parent. You may need to adjust your parenting time schedule to accommodate the change. In some cases, the parenting plan requires the parents to inform each other of travel plans involving out-of-state or long distance travel plans.
Schedule Fun Activities With Your Kids
Divorce can be depressing for everyone. This summer, make a concerted effort to build some fun into your schedule. Whether it is a trip to the beach, a backyard cookout, or simply playing your kids’ favorite games, scheduling time for fun can strengthen the bonds between you and your children and help ward off the post-divorce blues.
Understand How the Right of First Refusal Can Impact Childcare
Illinois Parenting Plans include a provision called “the right of first refusal.” This provision addresses when parents can ask a third party such as a babysitter or grandparent to watch the children. Your Parenting Plan may require you to ask the other parent if they can take on additional parenting time before you ask a third party to care for the children.
Contact a McHenry County Parenting Time Lawyer
Getting divorced when you share children comes with additional obstacles and challenges. The Crystal Lake family law attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC can help. Call 815-338-3838 for a free, confidential consultation today.