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How to Split Summer Vacation After Divorce with Children

This girl plays in the pool belonging to her mother, who just talked to our Chicago custody attorneys.

Divorced parents who share, or who partially share custody of a child have a lot on their plate. Not only do these parents need to figure out transportation of the child, with whom the child will spend holidays, and what happens when scheduling conflicts occur, parents must also determine where the child will spend the summer holiday when school’s out. From days at the pool to family reunions to the fourth of July and more, dividing up days during summer vacation can be difficult to do. With summer vacation about a month in, here are some tips for planning for the rest of the summer, or resolving conflicts that may occur:

Prioritize Communication

Depending upon the relationship that you maintain with your ex-spouse, communication–especially about things you disagree about–could be difficult for you both. However, when a child is involved, effective communication is essential. Do not just make assumptions about what the summer schedule will be, or how your ex-spouse will react to your request that you take your child to your family’s two-week summer reunion. Further, if you do have a scheduling conflict, be sure to talk about it with your ex-spouse and prioritize good communication skills throughout the process, including patience, listening, and monitoring your tone.


Part of good communication is being willing to express what you want, hear what the other party wants, and then reach a compromise that suits you both. If you are unwilling to work with your ex-spouse in regards to what they want or need, do not expect them to bend over backwards for you. Relationships, especially when children are involved, require a lot of give-and-take, so maintain flexibility and an open mind.

Plan, and then Stick to the Plan

If you have a court order regarding the summer schedule, stick to the court order. If you and your spouse come to an agreement outside of court regarding how time will be shared during the summer, do not deviate from the plan. If you have an emergency or an exception and request a change of schedule from your spouse, be prepared for them to not reply how you would envision.

Put Your Child First

Perhaps the best advice for parents who are divorced and who are faced with the task of splitting up time with a child over the summer is this: always put your child first. Fighting, arguing, or using guilt and other negative tactics is unhealthy for your child. The most important thing is that your child has a good summer, free from worry about which parent to side with.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

At Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, our attorneys always encourage parents to work in an amicable manner, and to involve the court as little as possible. However, we realize that post-divorce relationships aren’t always perfect, and you may need legal counsel or a court order to reach a decision about how time with a child should be divided. If you find yourself in this position, contact our Chicago family law attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.