As June and the front half of the year grind to a close, it is the perfect time to do a couple things which could save you a LOT of legal fees in the next 12 months. Perhaps not, but it is worth the effort and is an effective piece of evidence in court even if you fail.
- Download the school calendar for 2018-2019. They are done now.
- On a blank calendar record the school holidays and “breaks”.
- On the same calendar put in the custody schedule now in effect including holidays.
While you are doing that, note when the conflicts arise. School breaks and holidays can wreak havoc with otherwise sensible custody schedules. Where you see havoc, think about if weekend switches or other alternatives can lessen the pain and then send over those solutions to the other parent.
I would not recommend the second step be merged with the first. But, once you launch the calendar dispute missive, it is time to start a discussion with your kids about the activities coming up. The available menu of kid activities today is pretty much limitless. In addition to what they want to do (everything), we have the matter of what parents think they should be doing. This is an especial set of problems where fathers intersect with sports. Dads seem to assume that their offspring just naturally want to play the same sports they did. That works for a while as kids see this as a great way to connect with a parent. But kids have a tough time telling a parent that their love of baseball or curling has subsided and that they would like to try golf or less competitive things like rock climbing. Summer affords vacation and other times when a parent can have a lengthy heart to heart talk with a child about what he/she wants to do or be. The key then is to help the child communicate any change of heart to the parent who assumes that he will play baseball until the first pro contract is signed. Not easy, especially when a child senses that he or she will disappoint a parent. Still, much easier to address now rather than after the sign ups have been completed, Dad buys the new Marucci bat for $300 and has signed up as assistant coach.
Yes, July is all about fireworks. But, perhaps best to have them now rather than a month from now when most of the fall activities start in full gear.