As a family, you enjoyed your summer vacations, traveling down the California coast one year, taking the Disneyland trip the next.

While your family might look different this summer, post-divorce, that doesn’t mean that both parents can’t have special times with the children. It takes some planning to adjust to a new summer routine. But it can be done, amicably, if you and your ex agree to put any lingering differences aside to work together toward the shared goal of giving the kids a memorable summer with both of you.

Since summer is just around the corner, it’s time to start making child custody plans. These are good ways to start.

  1. Make a schedule with your co-parent. Get together, in person or virtually, to map out your plans. If your work schedule allows for flexibility, then be flexible. Your ex might want to take the kids on a trip with the grandparents on a set week. Even if that’s what you consider to be your week, adjusting the schedule will gain you favor with your ex and give your kids a great experience.
  2. Once the schedule is set, stay in touch. Your plans for a week or two away with the kids might change, and your co-parent has a right to know where the kids are. Even if you have custody of the kids in each of the involved weeks, think about how you would feel if your children weren’t where you though they’d be.
  3. If you can’t come to terms on summer vacation plans, try a mediator. That could be someone skilled in negotiation or your child-custody attorney. If you can’t sit down with a third party to reach an agreement, you could wind up in court to have a judge decide your summer parenting for you.

Your children always must be your first priority. When it comes to summer summer child custody, it shouldn’t be any different.