By Gayle Rosenblum

Custody arrangements can truly be stress-free if the lines of communication between both parents are kept open.

Here are some tips to keep your summer smooth and stress-free:

  • It is important to plan ahead. Talk to your ex about your plans and their plans this summer for the child(ren) in advance.  If there are conflicts, suggest solutions.  Be mindful of occasions and commitments that may need to take precedent, such as holidays, birthdays, vacations, day trips, camp and sports.
  • Do not wait until the last minute. Not only do you have to be mindful of each of your schedules but the availability of the activities that you wish to enroll your children in.
  • Consider if your children will need any extra educational help over the summer so that they can return to school in September stress-free. This will need to be worked into both parents’ schedules.
  • Create a calendar to share with your ex. This will help alleviate any conflicts as the summer progresses.
  • Stick to the agreed upon calendar. Upheaval and unscheduled changes for kids can create undo stress for everyone involved.
  • If you and your ex can’t come to an agreement or work certain aspects of the summer out, you should consult your attorney or a mediator.
  • If you already have an agreement, stipulation, or Order in place, then follow the terms to avoid conflict. Certainly, you both spent a great deal of time and effort in reaching a settlement which should be complied with. Taking a contrary position will only cost you both additional time and money in litigation just because the rules were not followed. Those fees could be better utilized towards fun activities for your children.

Remember that the children come first and that your job as a parent is to make sure they are happy, healthy, and can have the best summer possible.