Beaches, theme parks with mouse ears, swimming pools, and room service for late night mac and cheese – nothing compares with vacations with children. Vacations do not stop following a divorce, there just needs to be a little more planning and patience with the understanding that both parents are not vacationing together. Here are tips for vacationing post-divorce.
- Read your divorce decree – Review your divorce decree BEFORE planning your vacation. Most divorce decrees include vacations schedules and any limitations on where each parent can take the children. Unless both parents agree to modify the terms of a divorce decree, the vacation will be regulated by these terms.
- Start planning early – It is important that the vacation does not come as a surprise to your ex. Open communication is key to making your vacation a success.
- Start small – A co-parent is more likely to approve a vacation that is geographically close and shorter period than a long trip abroad. Start small and build over the years for more significant travel.
- Make a Plan – Share a written itinerary with your co-parent. Written itineraries prevent misunderstandings. This itinerary should include destination, times of arrival and departure, flight/hotel information, and other vital details. The itinerary should also include times in which the children will contact the other parent so that your ex feels he or she can keep in touch with the children on a reasonable basis.
- Out of the Country Travel – A divorce decree may not include international travel with children which may mean a Court may need to be involved if the parents do not agree to the vacation. Children will also require a passport. Children 16 or under need both parents to be present for the application process or non-present parent needs to sign a Form DS-3053 in front of a notary. If one parent refuses to permit the passport, you will need a Court Order permitting the passport with only one parent’s signature. Children 16-17 need the custodial parent only to sign the passport application.
By following these tips, vacations will survive post-divorce and be an excellent opportunity to bond with your children and create new memories. Contact an attorney with Smith & Smith Law Office if you need assistance planning vacations post-divorce.