When parents in New York decide to divorce, they can find themselves negotiating a new relationship with their former partner. Both parents often want what’s best for their children, but they now need to agree with each other on how to co-parent effectively in two different households. The summer and the end of the school year can also bring with it particular concerns, especially with the transition to more unscheduled time and a greater sense of change after a recent divorce. However, conscientious co-parents can minimize the impact on their children and help them enjoy summer.

Just as communication is important when organizing school projects and extracurricular activities, it remains important when co-parenting in the summer. If parents can agree on summer plans as early as possible, it can help children avoid unexpected surprises. In addition, it is critically important for both parents to avoid bringing their children into any relationship difficulties. Parents should always speak positively about one another and not include the children in a dispute about summer plans, excluding instances of child abuse or neglect. Sometimes children may feel like they are to blame for a conflict between two people they love deeply if they are brought into parental debates.

Summer can also be a time to re-examine existing parenting plans, especially if changes have occurred in the children’s lives since the time they were originally drafted. As kids grow older, plans will need to grow and change to accommodate their own interests, activities and plans with their friends and peers.

Flexibility and positive co-parenting are the key factors in any parenting agreement, especially during the summer months. A family law attorney can help a divorcing parent reach a fair agreement on matters including child custody and visitation.