Adjusting to life after divorce can be stressful and challenging, and it may not be very fun for adults or children. To raise your spirits and give yourself a break, you may decide to take a trip with your kids over Spring Break or summer vacation.
If you plan to do this and share custody of your children, you must prepare accordingly. Traveling with your children after divorce requires some additional steps to ensure your kids are safe, and you do not break any laws. Below are seven tips for what parents should do.
- Tell the other parent. If you want to leave the state or the country with your child, you should notify the other parent as soon as possible to eliminate surprise and conflict.
- Get permission from the courts. Even if your ex says you can go, make sure you have legal permission to travel with your child. Check your parenting agreement for rules regarding travel or talk to an attorney to determine whether you can take your child out of the state.
- Have written consent with you. To avoid any confusion or frustrating delays, you should travel with the written court order or agreement that allows you to travel with a minor.
- Bring identification for your child. You should have a photo ID, passport or other identifying documents for your child, especially if you have different last names.
- Make sure your child knows he or she can still contact the other parent. Even if you are on vacation, your child can still feel scared or sad about not being with both parents. To help them feel better, consider letting them call or text the other parent periodically.
- Share your itinerary. You may want to give the other parent information about where you will be and when you will be back. This ensures everyone is on the same page and knows where a child is.
- Focus on having fun. It can be stressful to travel alone with a child after a divorce. However, rather than focus on the ways it is challenging, try to allow yourself and your child to just have fun. Visit fun attractions, splurge on treats at the gift shop, and give yourselves time to relax and recuperate.