With the holiday weekend starting tomorrow, we expect that many families will be gathering for backyard barbeques, trips to Coney Island or getting together to watch fireworks. For divorced and separated parents, this may be a time of conflict as both parents vie for time with the children.
This may especially be the case for parents without an established parenting time order in place. In these situations, warring parents may need guidance about what to do. With that, we offer the following tips:
Be flexible – Although the summer solstice has passed, the Fourth of July has enough hours of sun for both parents to have ample time with the kids. So for instance, dad can have breakfast with the kids and go to a museum with them and end the day with a late lunch, while mom can have an afternoon barbeque with them and enjoy the fireworks. As long as parents are flexible, the kids will be fine.
Don’t be vindictive – If you can’t reach an accord for the Fourth of July, don’t seek revenge during Labor Day. Indeed, it is reasonable to ask for that weekend, given that many parenting time orders alternate holidays between parents. However, trying to settle a score with the other parent takes the focus of who is really important…the kids.
Seek court intervention – Unfortunately some disputes cannot be resolved amicably, and the court must be involved. However, a family court judge may make a decision that is unpopular to both parents, so it is advisable to seek court intervention only as a final resort.