Do you enjoy taking a trip (or several trips) during the holiday season? Do you have plans on bringing your children along this year?
If you answered yes to both questions, the last thing you want is something or someone standing in your way. But if you’re divorced, you must take into consideration your parenting plan and visitation schedule.
Here are three steps you can take to reduce the chance of conflict as you plan your holiday retreat:
- Plan in advance: Once you have an idea of where and when you’re going, compare your itinerary with that of your children during the holiday break. This allows you to adjust your schedule accordingly. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can make plans with your ex-spouse.
- Talk to your ex: Don’t leave your ex in the dark, assuming that they won’t care or they won’t put up a fight when they find that your children are traveling with you. Share the details of your trip, including where you’re going and when your children would be gone. If this overlaps with parenting time that they’re entitled to, it’s an issue you’ll have to work through.
- Reviewing your parenting plan: You may find language here that helps you plan your trip. For example, if your parenting plan outlines the years you’ll have your children on specific holidays, use this to your advantage. It doesn’t mean you should keep your trip a secret from your ex, but it does give you a leg to stand on. Along the same lines, make sure your parenting plan doesn’t restrict you from traveling with your children out of state or out of the country.
The holiday season is a time for enjoying family and friends. If you want to take a holiday retreat with your children this year, consider how child custody and visitation rights could come into play.
When you understand your parenting plan and legal rights, it’s easier to plan a trip that will work for all parties involved. Should your ex-spouse attempt to stop you, it may be time to seek a parenting agreement modification to avoid a similar situation in the future.