You and your ex-spouse are on rather good terms. You both love your children. Since the divorce, you have made an effort to be civil and work together. You agreed that it is best to present yourselves as a united front. You came up with a parenting plan and a schedule. The two of you share disciplinary measures and the same set of rules.
You want your children to experience a united family even though you are divorced. Prior to the divorce, the family traditionally vacationed together every year. You have heard of celebrity couples co-parenting on vacations together, and have decided to do the same. You and your ex have decided to take the kids on a family vacation post-divorce.
You may worry that the situation could be awkward or present problems.
You will want to plan ahead. Talk to your ex about destinations. You will want to be in agreement, which means that you may need to be flexible. If your kids need passports, the two of you will need to work together to fill out and sign the proper forms. Listen to one another, ask questions and communicate in a calm manner. You will want to plan out as much detail as possible to avoid any arguments or unneeded stressors.
Split the cost.
You are going as a family. Don’t let it seem as if one parent is in charge over the other. Figure out a payment system that works for you and your ex. Maybe one of you pays for airfare and one of you covers the hotel expenses. Think about meals. Will you divide the check at each meal? Will you rotate between picking up the bill? Will you split the costs at the end? Also, take into account any special activities. Share the expenses for any additional activities on the trip. Don’t try to show one another up by planning an extra adventure or purchasing souvenirs without consulting each other.
Ask the kids.
Your children may have mixed emotions about the trip. Children can react to divorce differently. They may struggle with the situation. Always take time to communicate the plans with your children and listen to what they have to say. If they want individual time with each parent separately, honor that request—but talk to your ex about it and plan it out. Vacations are a great time for making memories that will last a lifetime. Vacationing as co-parents can be a positive experience for the whole family.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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