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Summer Vacation During Divorce

By | - June 11, 2024

Steve Benmor is a recognized divorce lawyer, family mediator, arbitrator, speaker, writer and educator. Mr. Benmor has worked as lead counsel in many divorce trials, held many leadership positions in the legal community and has been regularly interviewed on television, radio and in newspapers as an expert in Family Law.

For many divorcing couples in Ontario, the onset of summer vacation brings with it a unique set of challenges and considerations. With children out of school and in need of summer activities, planning becomes essential, especially when managing separate schedules and co-parenting arrangements. 

Benmor Family Law Group has created a comprehensive guide to help divorced parents plan their upcoming summer vacations for their children with ease, clarity and enjoyment.

  1. Plan Now: Start discussions with your co-parent about summer plans to allow ample time for coordination, summer camp enrolment, travel authorizations, airline tickets, hotel reservations, passports, etc. Early planning minimizes conflicts, permits disagreements to be resolved early, saves money and ensures a smoother transition from school to summer activities and back to school.
  2. Communicate & Reciprocate: Kindness, cooperation and open communication with your co-parent is key. Clearly outline your preferences, commitments, and potential conflicts. Establish expectations regarding vacation plans, travel and financial responsibilities.
  3. Share Financial Costs: Compared to school, summers can be expensive. From camp fees, to travel, to spending money, to tickets to The Ex or Canada’s Wonderland, summers can be pricey. Discuss what expectations you want your children to have and develop a common plan for summer activities.
  4. Children’s Preferences: Take into account the interests, preferences, and needs of your children when planning summer activities. Consider Involving them in decision-making whenever possible to ensure their voices are heard and valued.
  5. Develop a Co-Parenting Schedule: Delineate the summer schedule from the last day of school to the first day back including vacations, long weekends, and holidays. Flexibility is key to accommodating each other’s schedules to maximize quality time with the children.
  6. Coordinate Travel Plans: If you collaborate with your co-parent, it can be a great summer for your children. You can even agree to exchanges at remote destinations such as campgrounds, Blue Mountain, Niagara Falls, Quebec, USA or elsewhere to permit the children to enjoy the same place differently with each parent and make it meaningful for the children.
  7. Agree on How to Divide Responsibilities: Divide responsibilities for registering the children in summer activities equitably. Share information about deadlines, costs, and requirements to ensure both parents are involved in the decision-making.
  8. Embrace Flexibility and Compromise: Be prepared to adapt to unexpected changes or conflicts. Prioritize the children’s best interests and maintain a positive co-parenting relationship by being flexible and willing to compromise.
  9. Parenting Coordination: If you cannot reach consensus, speedily seek assistance from a Parenting Coordinator to facilitate discussions, find mutually acceptable solutions or, if needed, make a ruling to permit speedy and inexpensive resolution.

Navigating summer vacation as divorced parents requires patience, cooperation, and a commitment to putting the children’s needs first. By following these guidelines and working together, divorced parents in Ontario can create a positive and enjoyable summer experience for their children while navigating the complexities of divorce and shared custody.

At Benmor Family Law Group, our multi-disciplinary team of divorce experts fully understands the emotional and financial impact of divorce. We will help you through separation, divorce, mediation, divorce coaching, and parent coordination, our full-service family law firm expertly supports you, guides you, and represents you – throughout your case.

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