Brazil & Benske, LLC

When family vacations and child custody intersect

Family vacations offer a wonderful opportunity to help your children create lifelong memories. Even better, going on a family trip may boost brain development for the young ones in your family. If you share custody of your kids with a former spouse, though, you must be sure your summer vacation does not turn into a nightmare. 

Before you embark on your trip, address transportation, lodging, meals, recreation and other logistical issues. You also must think about family logistics. Here are a few tips for ensuring child custody does not become a problem while on vacation: 

Know your visitation schedule 

If you have a comprehensive custody agreement, you likely have a visitation schedule that outlines when you may see your children. If your agreement does not mention family vacations, you may want to address the issue before you start planning your trip. Regardless, you likely want to be sure taking your son or daughter on a trip does not violate your custody agreement. 

Talk to your former spouse 

When it comes to their children, most parents do not like surprises. Waiting until the night before a trip to tell your former spouse you are taking the kids on vacation may be a bad idea. Instead, give your ex as much notice as possible about your vacation schedule. If he or she has objections, be sure you try to address them. 

Encourage communication 

Your former partner likely misses the kids when they are with you. Even though you want to promote quality time, you may also choose to encourage your children to communicate with their other parent during the trip. A quick phone call or text message may help your ex-spouse cope with difficult emotions. 

With a bit of planning, you can likely give your kids a meaningful vacation. Still, you do not want your summertime trip to cause custody problems. By working diligently with your former spouse, you may be able to make memories without overly irritating your kids’ other parent.

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