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Co-Parenting this Summer

Summertime is an exciting season for children and teens. With school out of session, kids get to sleep in, spend time with friends and family, and fill their schedules with activities they enjoy. While summer break is a blast for kids, it can be challenging for parents, especially those who are co-parenting. Balancing schedules, managing expenses, and maintaining harmony can be stressful. 

To help navigate these challenges, divorce attorney Nicole Sodoma, author of PLEASE DON’T SAY YOU’RE SORRY, shares valuable tips and insights for co-parenting during the summer. 

Communicate Effectively
Every co-parenting relationship looks different, but one thing remains the same: the need to prioritize your child’s needs over your own. Effective communication is key to achieving this. If direct communication with your co-parent is difficult, consider using a shared calendar. This tool allows both parents to stay informed about each other’s schedules and important dates without the need for constant conversations. 

Example of Calendar Items: 

A shared calendar helps ensure that both parents are on the same page and can plan accordingly, reducing the chances of conflicts and misunderstandings. 

Navigating Expenses Wisely
Financial agreements post-divorce often cover child support, but many essential expenses like back-to-school shopping, summer camp fees, and after-school activities typically are not included. It’s crucial to discuss and plan for these additional costs in advance. 

“Most people who receive child support will share that it’s never enough, and most people who pay child support will say they pay too much,” Sodoma says. 

Depending on the relationship, here are some ways to navigate these expenses: 

By proactively managing summer expenses and maintaining clear, open communication, co-parents can reduce financial stress and focus on providing their children with a fun and memorable summer. 

Embrace the Learning Curve
Co-parenting introduces significant changes to family dynamics, and adapting to these changes takes time and effort. Understanding that there is a learning curve can help manage frustration. 

“It is very frustrating. Know the person that you’re negotiating with. They have not changed; the reasons that you’re not together are probably the same,” Sodoma says. “Use your therapist or counselor, or a close friend to work through reframing the issues that are impacting you.” 

Moreover, Sodoma shares that flexibility is essential. While it’s important to strive for cooperation, sometimes one parent may not be as flexible or willing to co-parent. In such cases, learning to cope with the situation and making decisions that prioritize your child’s well-being is crucial. 

Co-parenting during the summer can be challenging, but with effective communication, careful financial planning, and a willingness to adapt, it can be a rewarding experience for the child. Remember, the goal is to provide a stable, loving environment for your children, even if it requires navigating some hurdles along the way. 

For more information on divorce, read Navigating Divorce: Present a United Front When Telling Your Child

PLEASE DON’T SAY YOU’RE SORRY is an empowering perspective on marriage, separation, and divorce from marriage-loving divorce attorney Nicole Sodoma.

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