The Divorced Family Edition
With Spring Break coming up, parents across the country are beginning to make plans. This can be a difficult time for children of divorce, though, as they often wind up missing out on fun family vacations and activities. The fact that a couple with children decide to get a divorce doesn't mean that their child has to miss out.
Plan in Advance
It may sound odd, but the best time to consider vacation planning is actually during the initial mediation phase of a divorce. Parents sometimes decide how to divide up vacation time with the help of a divorce lawyer in West Virginia so that they'll be able to make plans in advance. Others put it off until later but go back to add this information to their separation agreements.
Share Travel Information
Communication is key when it comes to planning for and executing vacations without the child's other parent. Many parents make stipulations such as requiring one parent to create a travel itinerary for the other in advance to make sure that the parent who is staying home won't be worried. Others come up with a check-in schedule to make co-parenting easier, calling every day or every week as agreed.
In some cases, a court may order travel restrictions. These often come in the form of a set distance that parents can take their children and are usually placed during the initial divorce process. It's important that divorced parents who are planning vacations abroad review their separation agreements to ensure that there are no regulations regarding how far they can take the child on a trip.
It's often possible to modify travel restrictions, although it does require going back to court. Even if the other parent isn't concerned about violations of travel restrictions, it's not worth risking the consequences of breaking a court order. Just have the agreement changed well in advance.
Although it's a good idea to set up expectations for vacation schedules in advance before a divorce is even finalized, parents may also need to be a little bit flexible. It's not uncommon for divorcing parents to handle planning for vacations by mutual agreement instead of determining an exact schedule, which can be helpful for those who work demanding jobs or have other responsibilities.
As the Spring holidays approach, though, it's important for parents to have both a plan A and a back-up plan in case they are unable to come to an agreement. This might mean staying at home and planning fun events around town or it might mean changing where one parent decides to go on vacation so that his or her child will be able to make it home in time to spend the other half with the other parent.
Prioritize the Child's Needs
It is essential that divorced parents prioritize their child or children's needs when planning for vacations. For example, if a mom really wants to head out on an elaborate road trip but her child wants to spend part of the vacation with the father, it might be better to plan a shorter trip or just stay home. Chances are, the trip won't be very enjoyable anyway if the child doesn't want to go.