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Is Your Parenting Plan Ready For Summer?

When summer arrives, it’s time for families to relax, have fun, and create lasting memories. However, for separated or divorced parents, coordinating a summer parenting plan can be challenging, to say the least.

Hopefully, the tips below can help parents and children enjoy the summer without unnecessary stress. These tips are good if you have a decent relationship with your ex. If you don’t, some of these tips may not make sense—use what you can. The more tools you have, the more problems you can fix.

Tip #1: Communicate Early

Begin discussing your summer plans with your co-parent well before the summer starts. Understand what they’re trying to accomplish while also sharing your desires. Each of you should understand the wants and needs of the other before making plans for the summer. Make sure to prioritize the child(ren) during this talk—this isn’t all about you. Having an honest conversation helps set a baseline to build from.

Tip #2: Be Flexible

By knowing what the co-parent would like to do upfront, you can better find areas of compromise. For the child(ren)’s sake, it is best when both of you can be open to schedule changes, as summer activities and vacation plans may require some adaptability. A bend but don’t break attitude is a fair view. If you have a strained relationship with your ex, it may be helpful to think of them as a co-worker you don’t like. You find ways to work with them, so you can certainly find ways to work with the parent of your child(ren) too.

As you may remember from your original court case, the courts in Colorado are always going to consider what is in the best interest of the child(ren) when resolving any parenting disputes. Your willingness to work together with your ex is a great way to keep the focus on your child(ren) and will go a long way to impress the judge if you ever have to go back to court.

Tip #3: Get Insight

Encourage your children to share their thoughts and preferences for summer activities within reason. This helps them feel heard and involved in the planning process. It also teaches them about compromise and a host of other meaningful lessons. Having everyone’s opinion heard and laid out gives proper perspective to what is needed most. Most children look forward to summer break because it is a chance for them to spend significant amounts of time with their friends. You and your ex being willing to incorporate some of those desires from your child(ren) is a great way to continue fostering each of your relationships with your child(ren).

Summer Parenting Plan Considerations

Tip #4: Consider Money

Be mindful of the financial burden that summer activities can put on both parents. If possible, discuss and agree on a budget beforehand to prevent disagreements or disappointments. If one parent is struggling, there may be different considerations for splitting costs related to the child(ren). While discussing money is personal, and no one wants to disclose their financial status, there is still room for general conversation and considerations.

Tip #5: Stay Calm

If disagreements arise during planning, remember to stay calm and composed. Approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. Fighting for your ego or selfishness helps no one, not even you, in the end. Set a good example for your child(ren) and show them how compromise and adulting are done. Though it may be tempting to push your ex’s button, don’t. Continue to be the bigger person and think about your child(ren) before making brash remarks or actions. Causing unnecessary tension in your co-parenting relationship can have a trickledown effect on your child(ren) because they tend to understand more than we give them credit for.

Tip #6: Find Consistency

One of the best things you can do for your child(ren) and co-parent is to be consistent. Maintain the schedule you agreed on and when changes are needed, give proper warning and communicate. Conflict is not suitable for the child(ren) and being a parent who is always fighting time and changing plans is unhealthy. This goes for shared time with your child(ren) as well. Make sure both parents get quality time over the summer.

Tip #7: Remember The Big Picture

As parents are all too aware, your child(ren)’s childhood flies by. While it is can be heartbreaking not to be able to spend every minute with your child(ren), it may be more beneficial to maximize making memories during the time you have. Years from now, you, your ex, and your child(ren) likely won’t remember the exact number of overnights you shared during any given summer vacation. But you will all remember whether that vacation was filled with love and building great memories, or if it was emotionally exhausting because of all the conflict over parenting time. You play a crucial role in how these summer vacations will be remembered so choose wisely.


Creating a summer parenting plan that works for everyone involved can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Planning, budgeting, involving your children in decision-making, and handling conflicts with compassion can ensure a fun and stress-free summer break for the entire family.

Remember to maintain open communication, be flexible, and focus on your children’s best interests to create a memorable and enjoyable summer experience.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced custody lawyers takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. We understand the financial burden a divorce can have on an individual. As such we have created our industry-first SimpleStart™ program, providing people a chance to reduce the amount of money needed upfront to start their case. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.

By: Cynthia Griffin, Esq.

Posted April 11, 2023

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