Summer is rapidly approaching right along with the end of the school year. For many California families, this means figuring out what to do during the summer and where to go on vacation. Some of those families have the luxury of spontaneity when it comes to planning a summer vacation, but many others do not.

If you are a divorced parent and continue to raise children with your former spouse, you more than likely fall into the latter category. Hopefully, you and the other parent accounted for summer vacation in your parenting plan. If not, now may be a good time to address correcting that oversight. As each of you think about how you will spend your time with the children over the summer, you may want to keep some issues in mind. 

Communication remains key

In many cases, the time spent with the children differs from the time spent with them during the school year. This means that you and the other parent will need to ensure you communicate with each other regarding your plans. If your parenting plan specifies a certain method of communication with your former spouse, be sure to keep with that method.

Not all co-parents have an easy relationship, but when it comes to their children, they can put their feelings for each other aside. This may mean being willing to compromise and remain flexible for the sake of the children. It does not necessarily mean that you will have to accept last-minute changes in plans, however. This may be the time to settle your summer plans with the children and the other parent in order to avoid unpleasant, and possibly contentious, surprises.

Following the parenting plan is key

It’s important to stick to the agreements you made when negotiating your parenting plan. This legally binding document may require some review as a reminder of what you agreed to do when it comes to parenting time in the summer. If plans need to change for a compelling reason, your plan may provide for a way to make those determinations.

If your plan does not address how to resolve conflicts or requested changes, it may be necessary to go back to court. If that becomes necessary, it would be a good idea to make sure that your rights remain protected. Hopefully, you and the other parent can come to an arrangement with the proper assistance and guidance.