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Managing Custody and Co-Parenting During the Summer Months

When you share custody with your child’s other parent, summer months can present unique challenges. For most of the year, schedules typically revolve around the child’s school schedule. What happens when your kid is out of school for three months? How should you handle their changing schedules and the cost of summer activities? Here are a few tips to consider.

  • Availability to supervise:Scheduling and childcare are usually the most important summer issues. When coming up with your co-parenting plan, consider who is better able to supervise. If you both work full-time, are there family members who can help manage the schedule? Are day camps and summer schools available during work hours?
  • Activity cost-sharing:The cost of summer activities can add up fast. Before you sign your kids up for summer camp, swim lessons or other activities, talk to your co-parent about sharing costs. You might decide to cover activities proportionately, based on your income, split 50/50 or each pay for the activities you can afford.
  • Set the summer rules:School provides a convenient structure and schedule for kids—and summer can be chaos. If you share a good co-parenting relationship with your spouse, talk about what kind of rules you’d like to enforce. For example, you might choose to limit screentime to a couple hours per day, or proactively encourage the kids to spend time outdoors.
  • Use online calendar tools:If you don’t already have a shared calendar to coordinate schedules, this is a great time to get started. Google Calendar is a free and easy option that automatically syncs to your phone and desktop, but there are also co-parenting-specific tools to make it easier.

Depending on how old your children are, you may want to solicit their input as well. For assistance creating your own co-parenting plan, contact the knowledgeable custody lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN today.

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