Be it spring, summer or winter, nothing gets the young ones more excited than a family vacation. Annual trips are not only fun but also help bond the entire family and create a lifetime of memories. When parents have the time, it’s always great to take the kids out whether it’s just a short trip or a tropical adventure out-country. For divorced or separated parents, arranging a simple vacation might not be as easy as it looks. With all the enthusiasm and anticipation, it is crucial to keep a few things in mind to make the vacation a success.

In a divorce situation, there are several stipulations and guidelines that explicitly lay down the rules on how to take kids on vacation after divorce. Having a solid foundation for such events is essential to using this time wisely and giving the children the kind of holiday they deserve. If you are looking to take your kids and even ex on a family vacation, the following tips should help make things easier.

Review the Custody Agreement and Be Clear on Vacation Time

Most divorce agreements typically include certain clauses that address in great detail all aspects of child custody and visitation. This includes a decree of how much uninterrupted vacation time that either parent is entitled to and how far they can take their kids as allowed by law. When planning a vacation, make sure you review the agreement so as to be clear on how many days or weeks you get with your children. Long before the vacation date, make sure that you and your ex are on the same page about how the days are counted and what kind of notice or information is required beforehand. It is vital to collaborate your efforts here and be clear on the communication times to avoid spoiling a fun vacation with too many worried calls.

Plan in Advance With Sufficient Notice

Here, the notice does not only mean talking to your ex, but it also means sitting down with the kids and checking if their schedules are free. It would be such a blow to plan a fabulous trip, book a flight and even pay for accommodation only to find out that the kids really had their sights on summer camp. Once you have a chat with your ex and identify which days work best for both him/her and the kids, you can then mark it on the calendar for the kids to eagerly count down. Sometimes word of mouth may not be quite sufficient since partners might not be in a position to trust each other. While some states only require one parent to notify the other with the intent of taking the children on a trip, others require direct permission from the primary custodian. Make sure you get this acquiescence in writing in case your ex says otherwise.

Provide and Request Vacation Itineraries

While not all court orders and divorce agreements require the vacationing parent to provide an itinerary, it is always a good idea to share travel plans with the other parent. Here, you don’t have to provide a complete breakdown of your daily or hourly program if you are not comfortable. Normally, you should inform on where you are taking the kids (general location), the method of travel, the dates and possible activities you might perform. This will go very far towards making the parent who was left behind feel much safer, confident and very much at ease while you have fun with the children.

Have All Documentation in Order

Whether you are planning to take your children just a few states over or completely out of the country, you have to be sure that the divorce agreement allows this, If not, make sure your spouse gives you written, notarized consent for trips abroad. Don’t forget to put the kid’s documents in order too. There will be no flying anywhere is you don’t have the children’s passports, health insurance cards and any necessary medication that is crucial to the child’s life support.

Have Everything Signed and Notarized

There have been numerous cases where one parent changed their mind about a long trip abroad for the kids at the very last minute. Not only does this dash all the hopes and dreams of the young ones, but it also causes disagreements and erupts fights that should no longer exist after divorce. While you might trust your once dedicated life partner, divorce tends to bring out the worst in people, and they might be looking to settle a certain score. Make sure you get a signed and notarized parental consent for the trip even if it is in the presence of a notary.

Bottom Line:

Most parents get caught up in their own agendas and forget that the children are the most important people here. It is very important for the parents to put all their differences aside and keep the best interest of the kids at heart. Children of divorce appreciate the quality time they get with both parents and vacation time is always a chance to build beautiful and pleasant memories. Cooperating and being willing to compromise will really go a long way to providing a safe, organized and super fun vacation for the family.