Six School Vacation Week Tips for Co-Parents

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We’re all dreaming of warmer climates.

Hi there,

Spring vacation is almost here for many private schools and April vacation is just around the corner. Whether you’re taking the kids on vacation by yourself for the first time or you’re going to be the parent staying home, these tips will help ensure your travel plans run effortlessly!

1. Plan ahead

If you need to coordinate dates with your co-parent, be sure you begin the process in writing well in advance of the planned vacation. If not, make sure that you’re sticking to the exact terms of your divorce agreement. The sooner you communicate clearly, the smoother things will go.

If you need your ex’s permission to travel out of state or out of the country, get that permission in writing well before you make your reservations. There is nothing worse than having to rush into court for permission to go on vacation. If you’re the non-vacationing parent, be reasonable. Don’t obstruct normal fun activities for the kids with their other parent.

Above all, do NOT plan a trip, tell the kids and thus force your co-parent to say yes. Co-parenting karma for that kind of behavior can be very destructive.

2. Share itineraries

Your trip should not be a top secret mission. Let your co-parent know exactly where you’ll be and when. The parent staying home will worry much less if they know well in advance where your child will be staying and how he or she will get there. Don’t play games with your itinerary. You have a parenting obligation to share it.

3. Arrange for contact

This is much better done in advance, as an offer, rather than as a forced compliance after attorneys are involved. You could be in the most scenic of locations, but your kids are still going to want to talk with their other parent. On the other hand, if you’re the parent staying home, don’t be overwhelming when you communicate with kids on a vacation. See how they are and let them know you love them, but avoid being a nuisance by keeping it down to one call a day or a couple of texts.

5. Bring important documents

If you are planning to go out of the country, round up your kid’s passports and get the note to travel signed well in advance. If you need your ex’s permission in writing, bring it. It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of your court-ordered parenting plan. Remember to pack the kids’ passports and health insurance cards as well as any medicines that are prescribed for your kids.

6. Have a blast!