When you and your ex-spouse divorced, you knew that you’d both want to spend special time with your children. In the past, you spent time with your kids on vacation. You won’t do that together now, but you do plan to continue doing so on your own.
Vacation can be tricky for divorced parents, especially if you don’t get along. Certain parents may be uncomfortable with their children going long distances from home, especially if there have been threats of withholding custody in the past.
What can you do to make vacation time better for everyone?
One of the good things to do is to start by talking about a vacation schedule. Sit down and plan on each vacation period you want to have, so that you and the other parent can agree or disagree on those times right away.
Once you know the dates, you should also discuss how far away your children can go and the activities they can or cannot do. For example, you may place a restriction in your parenting plan that requires your children to remain within the state or within the country.
You might also discuss what kinds of activities you don’t want your children to participate in. For example, you might say that they can’t participate in dangerous activities like parasailing or skiing until they’re over a certain age.
Why is it important to establish rules early in your parenting plan?
Talking about your concerns with travel and vacation plans up front helps reduce the potential for conflict. Talking about what you’re comfortable with compared to things you feel uneasy about will also help the other parent understand where you’re coming from and your opinion, so that they can avoid doing something that causes stress.
Both you and the other parent need to be respectful of each other’s wishes, so long as they’re reasonable. Your children deserve to spend time with each of you, and you don’t want that to be tarnished by conflict once you return from vacation. If you do have a concern about your children’s location or the activities they’re participating in, make it clear to the other parent. You should have open lines of communication any time your children will be away from home.
Your Roanoke attorney can help you make any parenting plan legally binding, so your children are protected and safe no matter where they are.