As the school year winds down, many children are excitedly awaiting summer vacation, but for separated/divorced parents there may be a feeling of impending dread. In order to ensure a stress-free summer and keep a peaceful environment for the children, it is important to keep the tips below in mind.
- Plan Ahead. To avoid last minute disagreements, both parents should discuss and put into place summer vacation schedules. Often times, time sharing agreements or Court Orders will outline who has the children and when, as well as how many vacation days each parent receives. The further in advance you plan, the less likely there is to be conflict.
- Communicate Effectively. Provide the other parent with details about your trip. I.e., how long you’ll be gone, where you’ll be staying, your flight itinerary, etc. Be sure to inform your spouse if you will be traveling out of state.
- Cover Your Bases. In most cases, if you plan to travel out of the country both parents will need to provide written notarized permission for the children to leave.
- Make a Checklist. The traveling parent needs to ensure they have copies of their children’s health insurance and immunization documentation, especially if traveling abroad. Also ensure that you have an adequate supply of any special medications that the children need.
- Do Not Compete. When deciding on vacation plans, do not let it manifest into a competition with the other parent. Your children will value quality time with you and won’t care about who takes them where. They just want to be happy and have fun while enjoying time away from school.
- Prepare the Children. Once vacation plans are decided upon, parents should jointly communicate them with the children. It is important for the children to understand that the vacation schedule is something that both parents decided together. Remind the children that even though they won’t see you for a few days, they will still have fun with their other parent.
Even though you and your spouse may not be on the greatest terms, it is important to keep your children’s best interests in mind. By cooperating with each other, you are helping to ensure your children have a fun, safe, and organized summer.
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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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