Vacations and holiday trips are valuable opportunities to create lasting memories with your family. If you are a divorced parent with shared custody of your child, booking travel can become complicated.
Every parenting plan is unique, but these guidelines can help avoid confusion and unnecessary tension when planning a trip with your child.
Consult your shared custody order
Your custody order could contain restrictions that impact your ability to travel freely as a family. Make it easier to plan vacation time by knowing which terms your agreement might include, such as:
- Geographic limitations: How far you can travel
- Time allotments: How long you can spend on vacation
- Notice requirements: How much advance notice you must give your co-parent before a trip
- Permission requirements: Whether you need permission from your co-parent before traveling
Before finalizing travel plans for you and your family, understand the rules of your agreement to avoid a violation of your custody agreement.
If you do not have a parenting plan in place or are still finalizing your divorce, you must notify your co-parent before traveling. Not doing so can damage a custody case in progress and result in long-term consequences.
Maintain open communication
Whenever possible, maintain openness by keeping your co-parent informed of your plans as they evolve and offering to provide a copy of the itinerary. You can also allow opportunities for your child to call or video chat with their other parent during the trip.
Cooperation is the essence of custody agreements, and by demonstrating your willingness to be flexible and transparent, you should be able to enjoy family vacations without creating unnecessary conflict.