Two-household summers can be stressful for children with divorced parents in New Jersey. This is also a time when there's no longer the structure of school and other routines that normally fit neatly into a prearranged scheduled. However, summers can still be relaxing and enjoyable for children sharing time with both parents who take the right approach to co-parenting.
Parents looking to make shared child custody or co-parenting arrangements work during the summer months are typically encouraged to cooperate and communicate by planning things in advance whenever possible, being reasonably flexible, and working with a mediator or counselor if there are points of disagreement that can't be worked out. Parents are also advised to avoid negatively speaking about each other in front of the children and acknowledge that the other parent is also doing their best given the circumstances involved.
Co-parenting may be less stressful and contentious if parenting plans are reexamined before summer begins so that appropriate adjustments can be made to account for changes with needs, such as children pursuing new activities as they get older. It's also advised that parents set realistic expectations by clearly communicating mutually agreed-upon summer plans with their children. One way to achieve this goal is with visual calendars placed in each home to avoid confusion with schedules. It's equally important for parents to establish healthy boundaries for a child's behavior in each home. Lastly, parents are advised to keep the big picture in mind and avoid revisiting old feuds.
A divorce attorney may get involved with co-parenting issues if significant changes need to be made beyond temporary summer adjustments. If divorced parents are still able to remain civil, this process may involve putting an updated co-parenting schedule in place that's mutually acceptable for both parents. Should this not be possible, an attorney may recommend mediation before suggesting court intervention.