Friday, July 23, 2010
Summer in Florida, like in many other states, affords divorced parents the opportunity to spend blocks of quality time with their children. Most of my clients equally divide up the summer with the children spending half of their time with each parent. This is usually a time for summer trips, bonding and giving a parent who has the children primarily during the school year a much needed break. However, often what you decide to do when your children are younger, may not always work when they get to be teenagers when their life and schedules are more important than spending quality time with mom and/or dad. While I agree that teenagers should always get a say, but they shouldn't always get their way, its important to recognize that a teenager's needs and wants when it comes to summertime time-sharing. Don't take offense if your teenager would rather stay close to home to be near a boyfriend/girlfriend or summer job. Be flexible with them and find ways that you can spend time with them and still accommodate some of their own wishes and desires. Work with your ex-spouse to ensure that a summer time schedule makes sense for everyone. Planning ahead and scheduling out the summer in April or May is a good way to avoid confusion and to provide your teenager with a realistic expectation of what they are and are not going to be able to do with their summer.