While for most, summer means long, hot days, finding relaxing ways to beat the heat, cold drinks and beach trips, for single parents it can bring about some more stressful situations. Between negotiating with your ex after your divorce, scheduling vacation time, and the altered schedule of your kids, things are bound to get a little hairy.
Here are some tips to keep the living easy, New Orleans style, while going through custody or divorce proceedings.
1. Keep your cool!
Kids are like little sponges; they pick up on your stress really, really easily. Try to make sure your time with your kids is relaxing and fun and that everyone’s mind is off of whatever the family is going through, even if that time together is limited. Go to a community pool, have a water balloon fight, take in a movie, or go to a snoball stand together. Whatever is less stressful for you will probably be less stressful for them, too.
2. Have fun making the day-to-day plans
Make plans with your kids about what you’re going to do together. Let them have some input about your free time with them, as well as what will happen when they’re off of school and you need to work. Kids sometimes are more willing to accept hectic schedules when they have input in making them, too.
3. Make Vacation Plans Way Ahead of Time
Many court orders have deadlines by which you need to notify the other parent of your vacation. Mind your deadlines. Tell your ex, explicitly and in-writing, where you’re going, when you’re going, and who you’re taking. Make your plans well ahead of schedule to ensure priority and the meeting of any deadlines.
4. Be Extra Careful with International Travel
When travelling internationally, make sure your child’s immunization records are up-to-date, that the child has a passport, and that you have written permission from the child’s other parent to travel to the specific country that you are going to. It’s a good practice to give the other parent a timeline when you’re travelling with your child. There are lots of nuances when it comes to international travel, so make sure that you inform the other parent and start making plans well in advance.
5. Don’t Play the “One-Up” Game
Yes, the other parent may have some great summer plans with your child, but that doesn’t mean you have to up the ante to “beat” them. Make your summer with your child about you and your child spending time together, not about competing with your ex. You’ll both have a much more relaxing time that way.
If you need assistance in cooperating with your child’s parent this summer, or with any custody matter whatsoever, call an experienced family law attorney in Louisiana to set up a consultation.