For California kids who split their time between two homes, it can be difficult for when they are older to have to spend time away from their friends and social networks during the summer. However, there are certain things that parents who have the children for extended summer visits can do to help the situation.
One of the most important things that a co-parent can do is to keep communication up with the primary custodial parent and the children, especially if the parenting plan allows for this. This way, non-custodial parents are able to connect with their children when they come for extended visits. This can also allow parents to keep schedules similar, making the summer transition easier for the children. Parents should also attempt to get into their children’s routines, especially if the children are older. Older kids likely stay up later and get up later during the summer, so picking days to stay up later give the parent and the kids a chance to connect.
Parents should also do their best to plan fun outings with the children or share hobbies and interests. Outings could simply be going to a baseball game, going to the park or, if funds allow, taking a day trip to an amusement park.
If the parents do not live near each other after getting a divorce, it is likely that the children will get to spend some extended time with the non-custodial parent during the summer. A family law attorney may assist with negotiating a parenting plan that gives the parent who is not the primary caregiver extended periods of time for visits. Further, if keeping in touch with the children is difficult, the attorney may also outline communication guidelines in the parenting plan so that the parent always has access to the children.