Every year, your child has a few months off school thanks to summer vacation. This causes strain for your family at the best of times, but now that you’re divorced, you know it’s going to be problematic.
Both you and your ex-spouse work 9-to-5 jobs, and your child isn’t old enough to stay home by him- or herself for hours on end. They’re also a little too old for a day care, and they have been fighting against having a babysitter.
Summer vacation is a troubling time for divorced, working parents
For parents who are divorced, summer vacation can create difficulties. They need to arrange child care if they cannot adjust their schedules, and they may find that there is no easy way to keep custody fair or event.
There are a few good ideas for parents in this position, though. These include:
- Having open lines of communication, so you can determine a basic schedule for which home your child will be in each day
- Looking into summer camps or day camps for older children rather than babysitting, when a babysitter is not an option
- Talking to family, neighbors or friends about childcare needs and seeing if there are local options or arrangements you could make to help cover hours when you or your ex-spouse are at work
- Taking time off from work. Though it’s unlikely parents can take the two-and-a-half or three months of summer vacation off completely, using extra vacation days here and there may help avoid gaps in child care
It’s vital to talk about child custody in the summer as soon as you can, because it happens every year and will be a consistent concern for a few months. Discuss your options with your employer, who may have alternative shifts or work-from-home opportunities for you that could ease the stress during the summer.
This is a complex issue, but it’s one that families can overcome with the right communication and investigation into local childcare options. Your attorney can give you more information if you would like to modify your custody schedule during the summer, since this should be done through the court.