Weekend Dad or Summer Mom? How Mediation Can Help You Co-Parent During the Summer Holiday
Disclaimer: This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
Summer holidays should be downtime for kids and parents, but all too frequently, kids get bored, parents get exasperated, and the season for fun becomes one of quarrels and stressed-out parents. When families are divorced, changes in routine can cause even more conflict unless parents plan well.
One parent may take the kids for the whole season, or one parent may take the kids on holiday. If the parents’ relationship is amicable enough, the whole family may go on vacation together. Many things determine how holidays will be approached, such as parenting styles, the relationship between the co-parents, the needs of the kids, and the parents’ schedules. Even if one parent takes the kids, some co-parents may want to be aware of what their children are doing and check in regularly, while others may be more comfortable letting their co-parents take over. Whatever the co-parenting relationship, there is hope, as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie show. It’s been reported that Brad Pitt has the kids for the summer, which is a long way from the supervised visits during the early stages of their divorce:
At Divorce Options San Diego, we can mediate between parties so these conversations can happen in advance and holidays can be relaxing. We are a full-service firm that can assist with many different aspects of divorce, from documentation to choices about your lifestyles and your kids’ wellbeing. For example, traveling with kids internationally can be more difficult due to international laws. The San Diego divorce mediators at Divorce Options San Diego are well versed in the technical and emotional aspects of sharing custody of your kids. From drafting complex parenting plans to dealing with the deeper emotional undercurrents of conflict, by using psychoanalytical tools and more, mediation can identify potential issues that might not arise in normal conversations.
Some of the issues that can arise when planning your kids’ summer holiday with your co-parent can include the following:
- Your child has medical issues or a disability – Holiday activities can be restricted by your child’s individual medical or developmental issues. These will need to be discussed carefully with your co-parent.
- Different parenting styles and expectations for holiday activities – Some parents can be very hands-off, while others are more hands-on. During summer holidays, children may be involved in activities that can be risky. Parents may need to check in more frequently or even want to veto certain activities. If your co-parent is stressed and hypervigilant, mediation can help with structuring check-in times and scheduling activities in advance to reduce stress on the children and the parents.
- Different schedules and incomes and not being the “fun” parent – Some parents may be free to take off in the summer, while others may have to work. The year-round parent may suffer feelings of inadequacy upon handing over the kids to the “fun” parent. Mediation can address such imbalances in your co-parenting relationship. Some parents simply can’t afford expensive vacations. At Divorce Options San Diego, we are financial experts who can help you make the most of your pooled resources, from creating a holiday fund to having parents alternate covering costs.
- Ground rules for blended families, in-laws, and new partners – Many families are now bigger, “blended” families, with stepsiblings, stepparents, in-laws, and even ex-partners spending holidays together. It may take some preparation to present a united front for the kids, such as establishing ground rules about sleeping arrangements for ex-partners and new partners or having conversations about how much input from stepparents is acceptable.
- Religious or cultural differences – You may need to have a conversation about observing cultural traditions during the summer break. Insensitivity about your co-parent’s religious or cultural standards can lead to kids having a divided experience and feeling caught between two parents. Having the conversation in advance and agreeing upon boundaries sets everyone up for a more relaxing summer.
- Traveling abroad with your kids – If your children are traveling abroad with your co-parent, you’ll need to prepare travel documents and custody papers. The rules for what notifications to show when you leave the country with your child may differ depending on the custody arrangement. Mediation can help you make sure you’re in compliance with the law and your custody arrangement.
Our Services and How We Can Help
We can help you complete your divorce from beginning to end. At Divorce Options San Diego, we are highly qualified professional mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise. Our mediators are caring, educated professionals who build divorce around conflict resolution, closure, and practical solutions for your future life even beyond divorce. We cater to those with busy lives who want the best for themselves and their children.
San Diego Divorce Options puts a high premium on a peaceful, child-centered divorce. Our expert San Diego divorce mediation services include the use of developmental psychology, attachment theory, psychology of grieving, and family systems psychology to help you and your children through the difficult emotional transition. We help divorcing parents draft multiphase parenting plans that consider their children’s developmental needs. We help co-parents build parenting plans that will withstand the challenges of parenting, even if national or international location is involved. We can assist you with the tools to stay connected to your children even if you aren’t the primary caregiver.
At Divorce Options San Diego, we emphasize an efficient, caring process that leaves out no detail relevant to your emotional, financial, or legal situation. This leaves you free to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself, both during and after your divorce. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA, but we can work with you remotely at your convenience using telephone, video-conferencing apps, and other forms of electronic communication. Please contact us at (858) 281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help.
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