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How Can I Stop Conflict over Custody Issues During Summer Vacation?

Posted on in Divorce

illinois child custody lawyerWhile most parents getting divorced in Illinois include specific plans for the summer months in their parenting plan, scheduling conflicts are still common. Parenting is a difficult responsibility that requires flexibility and cooperation, but this is not always easy when you are working with an ex-spouse as a co-parent. Fortunately, with careful planning and communication, conflict during summer break can be minimized and even avoided altogether. 

Be Flexible But Set Reasonable Boundaries 

One of the best parts about summer vacation is that many children do not have school, allowing the entire family extra freedom. Even for parents who are not particularly spontaneous, opportunities for fun activities are likely to arise last minute, making flexibility important. However, constantly changing agreed-upon plans can also be a source of enormous stress, especially for parents who struggle to communicate. It is important to know when you have plans set in stone, when you can allow yourself and the children some wiggle room to make last-minute plans, and when to say no to an ex who wants to change plans.

Communicate Carefully 

Divorce experts recommend having a separate email address that co-parents can use when communicating about their children. Not only does this make it easy to keep track of plans, but it also keeps everybody on their best behavior by making conversations easy to monitor and record. Co-parents who experience conflict can benefit by removing opportunities for fights that can easily be triggered by text, phone, or in-person conversations about important topics. 

Discuss Finances Ahead of Time

Summer camps, vacations, theme parks, swimming pools, athletic programs - these can all be a wonderful part of a family’s summer plans, but they are not free. Co-parents need to be on the same page about how much money each parent is able and willing to spend on summer activities. Besides child support payments, there are no hard rules about how much parents can or should spend. However, it may be wise to avoid situations that could make only one parent’s house the “fun” house or that could leave one parent feeling that he or she is disappointing the children in comparison to the other parent. 

Contact Our McHenry County Parenting Plan Attorney 

You can minimize conflict over the summer months by creating a functional parenting plan during your divorce. For help negotiating parental responsibilities and parenting time, schedule a meeting with one of the experienced Kane County parenting plan attorneys at The Thomas Law Office. We take your parenting concerns seriously and will help you structure a plan that meets your family’s needs. Call us today at 847-426-7990. 

 

Source: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8675000&SeqEnd=12200000