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  • Laura L. Van Tassel, Esq.

5 tips to help you successfully co-parent during your kid's summer break.

Here in NJ, the last day of school is Monday, June 27, 2022 and your kids are probably really excited, however if you share your children with an ex, summer break is a little less exciting for you.

Here are 5 tips to help you successfully co-parent during your kids summer break:

  1. Put Your Kids First — Do everything you can to put your kids first. This is always number one. Seeing one parent less, staying in a different home, or other changes can be uncomfortable and can cause an emotional reaction. Talk to your children about your plans and help them understand what will happen so they feel secure. Find out what your kids want, this may not necessarily apply to young children, but it’s essential to get their input and opinion as you make decisions as kids get older. Remember that summer is for your kids to enjoy. They may have ideas of what they’d like to do on their summer vacation. Let them pick some of the activities.

  2. Communicate — Try and get on the same page. The best thing you can do to ensure your summer goes more smoothly is to communicate with your ex, even if they have difficulty communicating with you. Try and explain to your ex that if you are both on the same page, your child will feel more secure and relaxed. That makes for a fun summer. If you run into a roadblock consider enlisting the help of a family mediator to resolve conflict without having a judge involved. Create a plan yes, but be flexible Planning early is best. Creating a plan for special events, weekends, or trips will save you both a lot of time and headaches. But if you haven’t done this already just create a calendar starting now and write out any camps, lessons, and other activities your child has planned and then send it to your ex-spouse. Just remember to be flexible because circumstances do change. Being understanding and flexible with your schedule can go a long way toward strengthening your relationship with your co-parent, and it makes them more likely to be flexible and understanding when you have something unexpected come up.

  3. Keep your boundaries Your ex may try to control and dictate the entire summer and create melodrama if you don’t do things according to his or her instructions. If that happens, don’t get defensive and don’t engage in debate. Instead, thank your ex for his/her summer co-parenting suggestions and end the conversation or email communication.

  4. When the children are not with you — It’s normal to say you’re going to miss your children when they are away. But children can’t be happy if they are worried about you, so keep any feeling about being lonely without them to yourself. Take a positive approach and encourage them to have fun while they are staying with their other parent. Use this time to do the things you would like to do. It is normal to miss your kids but it’s also beneficial for you to feel free and enjoy life to the utmost while you have quality time exclusively for yourself.

As challenging as it can be to navigate child custody issues in the summer, it's important to keep your child's needs at the forefront of your mind as you make plans. Try not to let your frustrations get in the way of a good time with your child, and look for ways to make your child feel extra special as you spend time with them this summer.

HAVE FUN… Even on a tight budget!

Kids just want to have fun, in whatever form that takes. You can still help to create wonderful memories for them, even if your budget is stretched this year by taking advantage of the many family-friendly events happening in New Jersey this summer

If you are in Northern New Jersey and need help modifying your parenting plan or you have other custody concerns — I can help. Drop by or contact me at to schedule a free consultation.


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