Property division should not ruin summer fun for kids

Virtually all Georgia residents have fond memories of their childhood summer breaks. Getting out of school for the summer and spending time outdoors with friends, sleeping in and staying up late, camp and sprinklers; all are part of the American childhood experience. For kids whose parents are divorcing, many of the joys of summer can be overshadowed by the divorce process. For parents, it is imperative that the issues surrounding one's divorce, such as property division or child custody, are not allowed to bleed into the lives of shared children and stop them from enjoying their summer break.

The key to helping children avoid stress related to their parent's divorce is simple: keep them busy and occupied with other tasks. There are a variety of summer programs offered in virtually every community, including summer reading clubs at libraries and bookstores, and outdoor activities geared for younger children. Make an effort to learn about the choices available in your area, and keep kids engaged and busy throughout the summer.

It is also important to share parenting tasks between both parents during the summer months. Be sure that each parent is able to spend special time with the kids. Most areas have family-oriented festivals throughout the warmer months, or historic sites and/or nature preserves. Weekend trips or overnight camping is also a great way to reinforce parent/child bonds while building lasting family memories.

Children have far more free time during the summer months, and without proper direction can become overly focused on the details and progress of a divorce. This should be a time of fun and relaxation, and even though the family structure may be shifting, it is important to allow kids to experience their summer break with as little additional stress as possible. Georgia parents should make every effort to work through the property division and child custody aspects of their separation without involving the children. In addition, there is a great deal of benefit to be gained by the adults if and when they can set aside their own divorce concerns and spend an afternoon running through the sprinkler with the kids.

Source: Huffington Post, "Don't Let Your Kids Divorce the Summer," Lois Tarter, July 3, 2013

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