Summer break can be a difficult time for parents, because it’s hard to take time off work or to find ways to get child care. Even in families with both parents, one parent may have to stay home to watch their children.
In divorced families, particularly in those with single parents, it can be complicated to deal with child custody during the long summer break, especially if your children are young. It’s important to address custody issues and to take steps to resolve problems before they arise.
What are some good ways to handle the summer school break?
The first thing you and your ex-spouse should do is talk about the summer break and how your schedules line up. If you both work traditional jobs and aren’t at home, you may need to find a third party, like a family member or day care, to provide childcare while you’re at work.
Certainly, when your children are older, you may start to leave them home more on their own. For instance, if you have your children through the week and can come home for an hour at lunch, you may leave them from eight to noon and then from one to five without any concerns about their health or safety. The age at which this kind of arrangement becomes appropriate will depend on your child’s maturity level, the state requirements and guidelines as well as the other parent’s opinion.
If your children aren’t old enough to be by themselves, consider leaving them with a family member, babysitter you trust, or another loved one. That way, they’ll be protected when you aren’t at home, and you’ll be able to maintain your custody arrangement.
You have options to handle summer custody issues
There are ways to handle summer custody concerns. It’s important for you to discuss your options with your ex as soon as you can, so that you can modify your existing custody arrangements in court if needed. Having this discussion early will let you start working out any issues with custody, so you can have a backup plan for when you can’t be there.