Tips for planning a vacation as a co-parent

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Family Law

Kids stand on hill and lift hands next to panorama of Ronda, Spain

Taking a vacation with your child is a great opportunity to make memories and enjoy new experiences. If you have a parenting plan in place, making these plans and enjoying a vacation may require navigating some unique challenges that aren’t issues for those who don’t have a co-parenting relationship with their ex.

There are a few ways that you can take some of the stress out of the situation. Here are a few to get you started:

Check your parenting plan

Before diving into vacation planning, revisiting your parenting plan is essential. These documents often outline specific guidelines or restrictions about traveling, especially when it involves taking a child out of state or country.

Reviewing the plan can help to ensure that any vacation ideas align with agreed-upon terms, helping to prevent potential conflicts. It’s crucial to check for any provisions about notice periods or required consent for travel to find out if your plans are compliant with the co-parenting agreement.

Talk to your co-parent

Open and honest communication with your co-parent is key to a smooth vacation planning. Discuss potential dates, destinations and activities to ensure they fit into both households’ schedules and preferences. This conversation is about logistics and respecting the other parent’s time and relationship with the child. By involving them in the planning process, you can avoid misunderstandings and try to ensure that the vacation enhances, rather than disrupts, the co-parenting dynamic.

Plan for communicating

Maintaining communication between your child and their other parent during the vacation is vital. Discuss and arrange specific times for phone calls, video chats or even text updates, depending on the child’s age and the vacation location. This helps the other parent feel connected to their child during the absence and supports the child’s emotional well-being by reinforcing the continuity of both parental relationships, even when they’re physically apart.

Throughout trip planning and the trip itself, you must ensure that you comply with all applicable parenting plan terms. If you’re just now getting a parenting plan set up, work with a legal representative who can help you determine what terms to include regarding special trips, such as vacations.