For many California divorced parents, summer visitation can be particularly difficult, especially as the children get older or if parents live far apart. Kids generally want to spend their summers hanging out with their friends, participating in summer sports and even getting a summer job. However, there are some things that parents can do to connect with their kids and have fun during the summer.
Parents should try getting the kids more involved in the household when they are spending their summer visitation in town. This includes sharing chores, scheduling meals at home and getting in to a basic routine. If they are not involved, the children can begin to feel listless and long for home. Feeling wanted and like they are part of the family will make the summers much more fun.
Summertime is also the time to be spontaneous. If parents have some time off, spending a day or two at the amusement park or water park can be a good idea. Taking time for classic summer activities, like biking and hiking, can also serve as the basis for some fun family memories. Ultimately, the children should not feel as if they are burdens.
While California courts generally do not modify child visitation schedules once the divorce is finalized, there may be cases where the visitation schedule no longer works for the parents or the children. For example, as the kids get older, they may decide that they would prefer to spend the summer getting jobs or engaging in extracurricular activities. In such an event, the court may be open to modifying the visitation schedule so that the kids still spend an appropriate amount of time with both parents. A family law attorney may represent a parent who has reasons to request a modification to the existing child visitation schedule, especially if the schedule is no longer in the child’s best interests.