Summertime presents unique challenges to divorced or never-married parents who share underage children in Illinois. Children are out of school, and younger children require full-time care, forcing parents to get creative in finding childcare options and summer activities that are affordable and feasible for their schedules. Coordinating frequent visits and transportation from house to house adds to the complexity of summer schedules. If you are creating or modifying a parenting plan in Illinois, here are three tips to help you co-parent successfully in the coming summer months.
Some parents specifically include their summer parenting plan in their initial parenting agreement. Whenever possible, taking this route is recommended for several reasons. First, it allows parents to avoid conflict by making decisions ahead of time. Second, it encourages parents to provide a stable and thoughtful environment for the children during an otherwise unstructured time. Finally, it gives children an idea of what to expect, preventing misbehavior stemming from anxiety or uncertainty about the future.
Unexpected vacations, sleepovers, or group activities can be among the best parts of summer. Parents who adhere to their parenting plan too rigidly may be setting themselves up for conflict with each other and with the children, preventing children from enjoying the spontaneity of the summer months. Parents who can communicate well often enjoy greater flexibility, so working on strategies that allow for seamless communication can be especially helpful in the summer. Discussing travel plans over a designated email address can allow for non-confrontational planning and documented discussions.
Get Permission if You Are Leaving the State or Country
Travel plans with your child out of state – and especially out of the country – can be quickly stymied when local authorities ask for evidence that you have permission from your child’s other parent to be away from home. While this may be less likely when traveling within the United States, there are serious consequences for taking a child out of the country without permission. If you anticipate frequent international travel after your divorce, be sure to cover this in your parenting plan so you have proof of permission ready whenever you need it.
Call a Lombard, IL Parenting Plan Attorney
If you need help designing a parenting plan that meets your family’s needs, schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled Lombard, IL parenting plan attorney with A. Traub & Associates. We have helped many clients navigate complex situations to craft a customized parenting agreement that functions seamlessly all year round. Call us now at 630-426-0196 to learn more.