Summer and the end of school is right around the corner, which kids all across Hawaii are looking forward to. However, parents may not be as enthusiastic, especially if they share custody of their kids.
Sharing custody requires parents to make adjustments from time to time, and the summer is typically one of these times. Between the changes in childcare provisions and the changes in a child's activities, there can be a lot of adjustments to make. Below are some tips for making these adjustments as well as what to do when things don't go as you had planned.
- Make sure you review your parenting plan. Shifts in parenting time should have been addressed when you and the other parent of your child created the plan, but it can be easy to forget some of these details. Reviewing the plan can ensure you are both on the same page.
- Discuss any potential issues with extracurricular activities. Kids go to camp, start new sports and put music lessons on hold during the summer; older kids have summer jobs to think about. Talk to your kids and your ex (if appropriate) about the logistics of these changes.
- Consider you own plans. Shifts in custody might leave parents with longer or more frequent periods of time without the kids. This can be an upsetting transition, so take time to think about what you want to do and accomplish this summer.
- Focus on your kids' experience. This is their summer, too, after all. Instead of dwelling on the challenges of summertime custody, concentrate on making this time enjoyable for your kids.
Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong, despite your best efforts. If issues arise regarding custody exchanges, bitter disagreements with the other parent or the well-being of your child, it is a good idea to talk to your attorney as soon as possible. With legal guidance, you can prevent a minor custody dispute from destroying the summer.
Summer can be a time of relaxation and fun, but it might take some effort to make that happen as a parent sharing custody of your kids. However, in the long run, the hard work can pay off for you and your kids.