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Could a family vacation still work for you and your co-parent?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Family Law |

If you’re beginning to think about summer vacation plans, or maybe even just now getting around to spring break travel plans, you may find that you and your ex would like to take your kids to the same place. Maybe it’s a lake house you used to rent every year or a favorite destination where you have traditionally spent part of every summer.

If that’s the case, you may begin to wonder if vacationing together as a family might work. In fact, some divorced couples and their kids (and even new spouses and stepkids) sometimes do that – and they’re not all celebrities or royals who can afford to take over a small island or part of a hotel. Many are “regular” people.

Some things to keep in mind

This approach is not right for everyone, and it requires some planning and ground rules. Is it right for your family? Certainly, you and your ex (and any new partners) should have an amicable relationship. Beyond that, these are a few things to keep in mind as you engage in planning:

  • Make sure there’s plenty of room. Renting a house is often the best way to go. Don’t try to fit everyone into a hotel suite with a couple of bedrooms and foldout sofa.
  • Determine how costs will be split ahead of time, and don’t choose someplace that doesn’t fit both of your budgets.
  • Figure out how you’re going to divide taking care of or just spending time with the kids. Taking turns with them can let each of you enjoy some alone time.

If vacationing together is something you think you’d like to do while your kids are still young, it might be best to start slowly with a weekend getaway. Maybe you can combine a short vacation with an event you both want to participate in, like taking your eldest to college or attending a family wedding.

Don’t send your kids the wrong message

Vacationing together occasionally can help your children continue to build happy family memories and see their parents get along despite their differences. It’s critical, however, that they understand that this isn’t a step toward reconciliation but a chance for you both to spend time with them.

If a shared family getaway works out and you decide to do more of them, determine whether you need to modify your custody agreement and parenting schedule or draw up any other kind of agreement to prevent confusion and conflict and help you better focus on enjoying your time with your children.