For most families, summer break has already started. For families who have recently resolved a divorce or otherwise have a new child custody arrangement, this can make the changes of summer even more stressful. If you have already entered into summer vacation before realizing that you and your co-parent do not have a clear plan, it’s important to do that sooner rather than later. An Oklahoma City child custody attorney can help you review your parenting plan.

Summer vacation is typically a great time of year for kids. Newly separated parents often want to ensure that it remains that way for kids, even when familial changes have been hard. There are several things that you can do as a co-parent to help your family through summer.

Co-Parenting During the Summer Holidays

The first and most important thing you should do is review your custody agreement. It’s important that vacations and other fun plans follow the guidelines of the custody and visitation order. Ideally, your parenting plan has already addressed the schedule changes of summer vacation, and this helps both you and your co-parent have an easier transition.

The other important element of planning for summer vacation is to maintain communication with your co-parent. You can avoid a lot of stress and potential conflict by ensuring that both of you understand your responsibilities and the schedule for the summer. To make the summer easier, there are some things you can do:

Plan Ahead With Your Co-Parent

If you haven’t already, you and your co-parent need to sit down and determine the proper changes to your custody arrangement in the face of summer vacation. Your kids have a lot more free time, but you and your co-parent likely have the same work and life obligations. The parenting plan can address these changes and determine how holidays, vacations, and other events are handled throughout the season and the year. Creating this also allows parents to have written guidelines to refer to.

Prioritize Your Kids

Your children’s interests should be at the forefront of any summer plans you make. This may mean including them in discussions about vacation plans and letting them choose what they’d like to do. It also means not interfering with the time they are spending with their other parent and not letting any disagreements between you and your co-parent affect your children. Remember that summer break is a rejuvenating time of year for kids.

Determine Vacation Plans

Depending on the relationship between you and your co-parent, you may want to collaborate on vacation plans. If that isn’t beneficial, it’s crucial to at least maintain open communication about your vacation plans and where you and your kids are. This communication can also ensure that no boundaries are crossed with what parents are comfortable with.

Be Flexible During the Break

Although it’s important to respect the custody order and parenting plan, there are times when unexpected events or emergencies can happen. Your children are adjusting to the change in schedule, and the entire family is likely adjusting to the changes brought on by a separation or divorce. A lot can happen because of these adjustments, and remaining flexible can help make the vacation less stressful.

Communicate Respectfully

Communication is essential to the ease of transitioning to summer vacation. Even if you and the other parent do not agree on all aspects of a custody arrangement or otherwise have conflict, it’s important to do what you can to keep discussions respectful and productive.

Communication should also include communicating with your kids about your plans. Their parents’ separation has changed a lot of their lives, and they may be unaware of how it will impact summer vacation. Be straightforward about what may change without placing blame. Also, tell them what won’t change, like specific fun vacations.


Q: When Can a Child Refuse Visitation in Oklahoma?

A: A child can only refuse visitation in Oklahoma when they are 18 years of age and no longer legally a child. Before a child turns 18, the court may consider their wishes in a custody determination. In Oklahoma, it is assumed that a child over the age of 12 is old enough to form an intelligent wish for custody. The court is not required to adhere to a child’s preference, but it can consider it when deciding what is in the child’s interests.

Q: What Are the Rules for Child Custody in Oklahoma?

A: Child custody in Oklahoma is awarded based on what is in the interests of a child. There are no specific factors that the court must review, so the interests of a child are based on the discretion of the court and the unique case. A child’s interests cover what will protect their physical, mental, and moral welfare. If either parent requests joint custody in Oklahoma, the court will require them to make a parenting plan. If the joint parenting plan is not in the child’s interests, the court may reject it.

Q: How Can a Mother Lose Custody of Her Child in Oklahoma?

A: Either parent could lose custody of their child if they are determined to be an unfit parent or if a parent having custody of their child would not be in the child’s interests. Typically, unless it would pose a danger to a child, the court will still allow a parent to have some level of visitation. However, if the child’s mental, physical, or moral health is in danger, the court may refuse visitation or even revoke a parent’s parental rights.

Q: What Makes a Parent Unfit in Oklahoma?

A: In Oklahoma, a parent would be considered unfit for some of the following reasons:

  1. They are or have been a registered sex offender.
  2. They are or have been convicted of certain sex offenses.
  3. The parent is dependent on drugs or alcohol, which is likely to result in bodily injury to themselves or others.
  4. They have had a domestic abuse conviction within the last five years.
  5. The parent resides with an individual who is or has been a registered sex offender, has been convicted of certain sex offenses, or was convicted of domestic abuse in the last five years.

Reviewing Your Parenting Plan

If you aren’t sure what is expected from you and your co-parent in your custody arrangement, you need to find out. A child custody attorney can help you review a parenting plan or mediate changes to it. Contact Stange Law Firm today.