Although this vacation season is quite different from years’ past, there will probably be an opportunity to safely get away with your family for a few days this summer. If you are locked into a parenting plan with your ex, you have extra considerations to address while planning a vacation with your children. Here are five pieces of advice to ensure your summer trips keep everyone happy.
- Go back and review your agreement. This is the key to a successful vacation. See if you and your ex made any agreements, in writing, about your obligations regarding vacations. The custody agreement could stipulate whether your vacation needs to coincide with your parenting time or if vacations take precedence over physical custody arrangements. Additionally, you might have to consider whether or not vacations count as “holidays” under your agreement. Going back over your custody agreement and, possibly, having an attorney review it for you is often necessary for co-parents.
- Give your ex plenty of advance notice. Many custody agreements mandate that you provide advance notice to your ex when planning a vacation with your children. They often stipulate that you need permission from your ex when taking them out-of-state or overseas. Besides keeping in line with your custody agreement, letting your ex know ahead of time about any vacation plans shows courtesy and cooperation on your part.
- Share as many details as you feel comfortable. Again, any agreements or court orders might compel you to share certain details with your ex, but try to be generous to your ex when describing your upcoming trip. Send your ex a detailed itinerary and let them know how to get in contact with you if need be (especially if you are traveling overseas).
- Arrange for your children to send postcards or call their other parent during your trip. This is a simple gesture that will be much appreciated by your ex. Regular calls and FaceTime chats can help your ex feel more involved in the vacation and remind your children that both of their parents are eager to hear about their fun excursions.
- Don’t try to “out-do” your ex. It can be extremely difficult to watch your ex take your kids on luxurious cruises while you are just trying to swing a long weekend trip to the mountains. However, there are no advantages to trying to one-up your ex. Focus on maximizing the time you have with your children.
There are many potential issues that you do not always think about when coming up with a custody arrangement. Whether you are looking to the court to come up with a plan or you are attempting to come up with one out-of-court with your ex, you need effective representation so your rights and interests are respected. Reach out to Easterling Law so we can discuss your options today.