Are you in the midst of planning or about to take your summer vacation trip while co-parenting? This is the time of year when we are asked about the challenges of taking a vacation with children after a divorce when you plan to go out of the area or out of the State of California.
It is important to review the Parenting Plan from your divorce which should clearly specify the terms of all child custody and parenting time issues. In some cases, vacations including your summer vacation trip while co-parenting are clearly specified within the parenting plan. However, even in these situations it usually required to provide details regarding where the children will specifically be located and how to maintain communication with the other co-parent, usually by phone and/or texting. In other cases it may be necessary to obtain written permission for the trip from the other permission and/or the Court.
In other cases it may be necessary to obtain an agreement to surrender time which is otherwise scheduled to the other co-parent to accommodate the planned vacation. It is always the best policy to keep the other co-parent as involved and connected with the process as you would want to be if and when the roles are reversed.
Here are some things to keep in mind while planning and taking your summer vacation while co-parenting:
- Make sure you have provided a detailed itinerary to the other parent which includes details on where you will be going, locations where you will be staying and even flight details if appropriate.
- Have a specific plan (in writing is better) which details how and when the children will stay in contact with their other parent while you are travelling.
- Discuss how you would handle any injury or medical emergency while on the road.
- Make sure you have plenty of the medications required by your child(ren).
Remember to remain flexible when planning and taking your summer vacation trip while co-parenting. It is likely you will soon be in the same position when your former spouse is ready to take the kids on their next trip.