When Colorado parents divorce and work out a child custody agreement, many experienced family law attorneys advise them to include arrangements for summer vacations. This is particularly important if the children will be traveling or spending all or part of the summer at another location like summer camp.
However, few of us can predict what future summers will bring. That's why clear and timely communication between ex-spouses over vacation plans is crucial. In some cases, it may be necessary to get mediators or lawyers involved. However, many couples are able to work things out amicably on their own. Certainly, this is best for everyone involved -- especially the children. Whatever you do, don't just pack up the kids and hit the road without notifying the other parent. If there's some reason, such as safety, why you don't want your ex to know where you are, consult your attorney.
Assuming that you and your ex can maintain some kind of communication, notify him or her as soon as you know that you know that you are leaving. This is particularly essential if your trip requires a deviation from any agreed-on schedule. Parents usually feel better if they know where their children are and what they're doing. It's often best for everyone if the children can stay in communication with their other parent while they're away, share photos and let them feel like they're part of the vacation in some way.
If both of you are planning your own vacations with the kids, it's helpful to discuss your plans. You probably don't want to duplicate vacations, and you may want to give your kids some time after one trip before starting another one.
Some divorced families even vacation together. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis shared post-divorce family vacations with their kids. Shared vacations aren't just for the rich and famous. If you own a vacation home or time-share property, it can be an efficient and cost-effective option. More importantly, it can help the kids see that their parents can co-exist peacefully, at least for a short time.
If you have problems working out the details of summer vacations with your ex, you may want to consult with your family law attorney to see how best to resolve the issue. You may need to amend your custody agreement so that summer doesn't become a time fraught with stress and conflict, particularly for your children.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Summer Vacation And Child Custody Agreements," Liz Mandarano, accessed May. 28, 2015