4 Ways To Ease Summer Stress After Divorce

June 28, 2017

Summer holds the promise of relaxation, vacation, beach days and barbeques. However, if you are going through a divorce or are divorced with children, the promise of summer can quickly become a stressful. School is finally over, but what are you going to do now? The children’s excitement of getting out of school can quickly turn into boredom and frustration— should they go to camp, and if so, which one? How will you deal with the huge expense of childcare? Or the little expense of the daily ice cream truck?

There is no reason your summer, or the children’s summer, should be ruined. Your summer need not be full of arguing, or growing resentment over paying for the children’s activities, or over disagreements over scheduling.

Consider the following to make the most out of your summer:

Minimize Any Stressful Situations for The Children

There is no need to weigh children down with details. It should not matter to them who paid for what. Parents should work closely together to plan their individual summer vacation time outside of the children’s presence. This will reduce conflict and should result in a wonderful summer.

1. Have a Clear Plan

Every suggestion herein will relate back to the goal of ensuring an advance plan is put into place. It is often difficult to balance work and summer vacation time when the children are out of school.

If you are divorced, carefully review your parenting plan. It is worthwhile to create a calendar of each summer month in advance with your ex-spouse and / or co-parent. Sometimes there is confusion over who gets what holiday, whose responsibility it is to take the children to camp on certain days, and what weeks are considered vacation days, etc. Most summer time litigation is directly linked to a vague and unclear schedule.

Communication in advance is key.

2. Put Your Personal Feelings Aside

Ex-spouses often have many emotions and negative feelings stemming from the divorce. Keep your focus on the children. Parents need to put their feelings aside.

Don’t try to outdo the other parent or criticize your ex-spouse’s plans in front of the children.

3. Understand and Address Financial Issues in Advance

The cost for summer camp can put a strain on any family, intact or otherwise. As the children are out of school, work related daycare and the costs associated with it are a necessary reality.

Any agreement with your spouse should include a provision to deal with the choice of and the allocation of cost of any summer time work related daycare, camp or otherwise.

4. Don’t Schedule Activities During the Other Parent’s Time

Absent mutual agreement or a requirement of the children’s normal activities, don’t schedule activities during your ex-spouse’s parenting time. It is not fair and only leads to conflict.


Have a safe— and fun! — not stressful summer!