Divorce can bring about big changes in how Virginia parents deal with one another. Adjusting to co-parenting is challenging at any time of year, but the summer can come with specific difficulties. During the school year, the routine provided by the academic schedule can help children to feel insulated from some of the changes that accompany divorce. Summertime is often much less scheduled, and summer plans may differ greatly between the parents’ homes. However, positive co-parenting can help children and parents to adjust to summer co-parenting successfully.

It can be important for parents to communicate with each other about their plans for the summer, especially when working to co-parent together after divorce. The earlier that one parent can communicate with the other about upcoming vacations and other ideas for the child’s summer, the more time that both households have to adjust. A shared online calendar or a posted visual calendar in both homes can be particularly important in making sure that plans are not forgotten or scheduled against one another.

In addition, summer can be a time to revisit parenting plans made in the past. Parenting schedules will often need to change as a child ages. This can be especially true in the summer months when jobs, internships, activities and friends can consume most of a teen’s time. Teens may have strong feelings about how they spend their summers, and it is important for parents to work with their kids to support their growing independence or even their future careers.

When parents decide to divorce, they may be concerned about how the parent-child relationship will be affected and how they will adjust to co-parenting. A family law attorney may help a divorcing parent to advocate for a positive solution and negotiate a fair settlement on parenting plans, child custody and visitation.