Summer is coming up fast, and for divorced parents that typically means that more attention needs to be paid to planning and coordinating vacation schedules. Not only do children have their own summer schedules, but both ex-spouses must also plan their own vacation time with the children. Here are five tips for scheduling vacations with minimal disruption to existing schedules:
Give as much notice as possible to the other parent.
Your custody agreement will likely dictate summer scheduling, but if you have a somewhat flexible arrangement with your ex, it is important to respect their parental rights by providing as much notice as possible about when and where you plan to vacation with your children to help minimize any conflicts.
Provide the other parent with an itinerary.
The non-traveling parent should be given a written itinerary with dates, locations, and contact information on how the children can be reached while they are on vacation with the other parent. International travel may require an additional level of cooperation and consent from the non-traveling parent.
When vacationing together, be on your best behavior.
Some divorced parents schedule vacation time with the children together as a family. If you plan on a family vacation, pack your patience. While it may be difficult to avoid all conflicts, do your best to maintain a positive environment for your children to enjoy their summer vacation with both parents. If you don’t think you can, then maybe it is better to vacation separately.
Keep kids in touch with the other parent.
Set aside some time every day for your children to talk or Facetime with the non-traveling parent so they can keep in touch. Packed schedules can easily distract children from maintaining this important contact, so make an effort to keep this part of their routine intact.
Try to be flexible.
The purpose of a vacation is to relax and have fun. In the days leading up to your departure, consider being flexible with the non-traveling parent’s parenting time to counterbalance the days or weeks when the children will be away from him or her.
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