The Law Office of Christina Martell

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Helpful Tips for Co-Parenting in the Summer After an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

West Chicago family law attorney parenting time

Summer vacation is often a time of bliss for your children, but it may be less exciting for you. If you are divorced, you and your ex-spouse must create a parenting plan before finalizing your divorce. This legal document essentially states who will make decisions for your kids and how those determinations will be made. The plan outlines who will be allocated the parental responsibilities (child custody), in addition to parenting time (visitation). In addition, it should include how each parent receives important information about your children (medical or educational records), as well as how they will be transported between households for parenting time. When your children are on summer or holiday breaks, your normal parenting time schedule may be disrupted, but by following the tips below, you can work with your ex-partner to alleviate the stress for everyone.

Top Tips for Modifying the Routine

Summertime often forces you and your ex-spouse to establish a brand-new parenting time schedule, which can make co-parenting problematic. To make things a little less difficult for you and your ex, here are a few steps to achieve a smoother transition:

  • Involve your children. Although it is important to hash out your parenting time schedule with your children’s other parent, ask your kids how they would like to spend their summer. Giving your children a say in what they would like to do could prevent future arguments and avoid unnecessary costs for things the children have no interest in doing.

  • Do not wait until the last minute. As the saying goes, nothing good ever comes out of waiting until the last minute. With summer fast approaching, set aside a time to sit down with your ex to create an agreed-upon summer parenting schedule. If applicable, base it on a previously used calendar, but keep in mind that things may have changed since then, so be flexible in how you approach the new schedule. 

  • Be open to change. The routines you and your ex have established may not go according to plan every single time. Your children may miss their other parent. A spontaneous vacation may come up. In any of these situations, it is important to be flexible when possible and avoid getting upset at the other parent or your kids.

  • Share the costs. Establishing who is paying for what should be a part of your co-parenting discussion. Be open and honest when talking about your budget situation, and work with your ex to come up with a mutually agreeable way to divide expenses for children's activities such as art or sports camps during the summer. 

  • Avoid competing with your ex-partner. The rivalry between you and your ex can have a negative impact on your children. It is important to keep in mind that your children’s love cannot be bought, and competition does not have to play a role in your divorce. As long as you are each making an effort and engaging with your children, they will be happy.

Contact a Warrenville Divorce Attorney 

At The Law Office of Christina Martell, we understand that divorce and the allocation of parental responsibilities are exceptionally important family law matters. We will strive to help you reach a fair and agreeable solution. If you and your ex are unsure how to proceed regarding your parental rights, or if you wish to modify your existing parenting plan, contact a Cook County parenting time attorney today. We offer consultations for $100, which would be credited toward your bill upon hiring our firm. Call our office today at 630-717-2772 to schedule your private consultation. 


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