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5 tips for coping when your summer plans change

Schools out! That means you are probably planning for some escape time with your kids. However, when shared custody is part of your life, planning that beach time can be real challenge without further igniting the uncomfortable relationship with your ex. Keep these tips in mind when working out the family planner this year.

  1. Plan Ahead: Start making those holiday plans well in advance, as there is the other part of your child's family to keep in mind. That gives everybody time to plot, adjust, and agree.
  2. Keep Everybody in the Loop: Do not exclude your ex-spouse, no matter how tempting that may be. Let them know where and when you have reservations. Keep it positive so your child can look forward to the break.
  3. Be Flexible: There might be big plans in the other household, too, which can be just as important for your child. Be willing to listen to your child's wishes and make changes to your plans to accommodate their ideas. You will face less opposition from your ex when the kid is happy.
  4. Notify the Other Parent when Plans Change: Last second changes do happen, and once you pick up the kid it is so easy to just go with the flow. But your ex has the legal right to know where their kid is, too. Avoid further legal wrangling, do the adult thing, and let everybody know what happened.
  5. It's Not Just Your Vacation: Summer might feel like you finally have the chance to schedule your family's life as you wish, but remember your child may have plans of their own especially if they're in their teens. This is your opportunity to strengthen the family bonds. Include the whole family in the decision process and enjoy every minute of your time in the sun.

As with all custody arrangements, you should always contact your attorney before making changes. Doing so will enable you and your family to have a happy, conflict-free vacation together. In theory, of course.

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