As a divorced parent, co-parenting means that you and your ex have to work together to raise the children, and this can get very complicated during the summer months. Children have summer vacation, and many families like to take trips.
Since you’re not married, there are a few other things you’ll need to consider besides simply making the plans that you would like to make. Things are not as easy as they were before, but it is possible to have an ideal summer if you plan ahead.
Are you allowed to travel extensively?
One thing to ask yourself is if the co-parenting agreement or the child custody arrangement given out by the court allows you to travel the way that you’d like. For instance, some people have stipulations saying that they can’t take the children out of the state or out of the country. Make sure that you do not violate this order.
Do you need to change the schedule?
Depending on your child custody schedule, you may need to talk to your ex about altering your co-parenting plan if you’re going to take any sort of trip. For instance, maybe the two of you usually split each week in half, with the kids spending three days with you and four days with your ex. If you want to take a weeklong trip, your ex may be fine with it, but you certainly need to tell them in advance so that you don’t violate their rights by not dropping the children off in accordance with the traditional custody schedule.
Can the kids still contact your ex?
Your ex may still want to have virtual visitation while you’re on vacation or contact the kids in other ways. It may be wise to talk about how they can stay involved through video chat programs, phone calls, postcards or letters.
As you can see, even something that seems as simple as taking a fun trip in the summer can be very complicated when you’re a co-parent. Make sure you know what steps to take and all the legal rights that you have.