A number of factors force them into crisis when the schools close for the summer: changes in established daily routines, and the expense of keeping family members entertained, for example.
Long-standing pick-up, drop-offs and living arrangements can be exposed as inadequate in the lengthy holiday. Frustrations and resentments can easily resurface, and the children are caught in the middle.
Those who wait until the school term ends before planning parenting arrangements through July and August find it can be too late to influence what then too easily becomes a six-week nightmare.
That is why our professional recommendation to parents is they start looking ahead and putting suitable plans in place in advance, in May or June.
A Parenting Plan, agreed by both parents and with flexibility built in, is easier to achieve than many people think. A Parenting Plan is an agreement made by separated parents, covering how the children will be supported and cared for after separation or divorce. It’s easier to agree a Plan between the two adults involved than many people think, and its value is that both tailor it to suit their own circumstances.
As time goes on, and as the child grows up and parents’ jobs and relationships change, the Parenting Plan can be updated to match shifting needs. It’s not just parents whose requirements change over time; the children’s do too – and fast - as they grow up.
A Parenting Plan makes sense on so many levels, so my advice to separated parents is to take some time right now to head off last-minute summer panic by planning ahead.