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Making Summer Work with Split Custody

Having split custody of your child is a difficult situation to be in. There are all sorts of reasons why having a split custody set-up is beneficial and worthwhile, why it makes sense for parents from all different walks of life. Having both parents involved in a child's life is ideal, and it takes a very special family and a lot of commitment on the part of both parents to work out the complex scheduling of a split custody arrangement. Everything down to what school a child attends to what sport leagues they participate in and what friends they get to spend time with after school really depends on where the child lives, and so developing a split custody arrangement in a way that benefits the child takes a lot of cooperation and sacrifice on the part of both parents.

Perhaps the area where split custody arrangements grow most complicated is surrounding summer vacations. Summer is when the schedule's fall apart. You go ten months out of the year knowing where you are going to be on Tuesday and then what you have to do by Thursday, but once the calendar page flips to June all the bets are off and your child's to-do list becomes a lot more optional. Even parents who work year-round like to take advantage of the summer months to go on family vacations, but including children in a family vacation is difficult when your child is legally bound to a different household part-time.

As the summer approaches, consider the following situations as you determine your summer custody plans:

  • Who can accommodate childcare during the work week? Kids don't have school during the day, so it makes sense for your child to be with one of their parents rather than away at camp or in daycare. If a parent is available, use that time.
  • Does distance make extended stays more practical? If you have to travel the entire State of Colorado, or even worse have to cross State lines to go from one parent to the other, then splitting custody for a three day weekend is going to be tiresome and stressful on your child. The summer break is a great way to split custody without interfering with a child's education.
  • Coordinate plans and vacations to accommodate everyone. Often, split custody for one child means half and step-siblings, some of whom are in split custody situations themselves. Work together to make it possible for entire family's to spend time with one another.

As you make your summer custody plans, try to think like a kid. Summer is the stuff that childhood memories are made of. First and foremost, when thinking about what to do about the summer and your child's custody arrangements, consider what is going to be best for your children. Out of town vacations, extended family stays and time with cousins and step-siblings are huge memories for kids, so as you are determining your summer plans, try to keep those considerations front and center.

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