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Six tips for co-parenting during the summer break

Summer break comes with the potential for myriad conflicts. Maybe you want to take the kids hiking along the North Shore in August - but your ex said he's already arranged a trip to Disney World during that time. Or maybe you believe your children would have a great time at a local Minnesota camp - but your ex can't stand the thought of giving up time with them.

The key to minimizing the contention is to think ahead. Make sure a detailed summer schedule is included with your parenting plan.

A Divorce Magazine article provides great tips for avoiding unnecessary conflict with your ex and making the summer break as enjoyable as possible for you and your children. Here are a few key takeaways:

1. Take turns scheduling vacations. If you want to spend the Fourth of July with your kids this year, perhaps your ex can spend it with them next year.

2. Decide how long the trips can be. Maybe you and your ex will agree to limit trips with the children to two weeks, or maybe you're both okay with a month-long vacation apiece.
 
3. Share the travel details. You probably won't be able to prevent your ex from taking the kids to visit Grandma Julie in Wisconsin, but you do deserve to know where they're going and when.

4. Make phone calls possible. Whoever has the kids is typically responsible for making sure the children have a chance to talk to the other parent on the phone regularly.

5. Agree on safety rules. Maybe you want your kids to wear life jackets whenever they go to the pool, or maybe your ex doesn't want the kids to ride an ATV until they're older. Come to an agreement in advance so that you can feel confident your kids will be safe.

6. Discuss whether new partners are welcome. Are you comfortable with your ex bringing a new girlfriend or boyfriend along on a trip with your kids? Make sure you talk about these sensitive matters in advance. Nobody wants to learn after the fact that a stranger shared a hotel room with their little ones. It's best to have the information upfront.

For help developing a parenting plan that will fit your unique needs and schedule, don't hesitate to consult a family law attorney in the Anoka County area. A lawyer can provide detailed assistance in these and other child custody matters. 

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