Knowledgeable Family Law Representation

Post-divorce family vacations aren’t just for the rich and famous

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Divorce |

When you and your spouse divorced, you likely assumed that you’d never vacation together again. Then maybe you realized that the kids’ favorite vacation destination is just too expensive to take two separate summer trips to visit. Perhaps you both want to spend spring or winter school break at your vacation cabin up north.

Whatever the reason that has you considering a family vacation that includes your co-parent, it can be done if both of you are committed to making it work. However, it will require some planning and some mutual agreements.

Family vacations with ex-spouses (and even new spouses and stepkids) aren’t as rare as you might think. Neither are they just for celebrities and royals who can afford to rent an island or reserve a small hotel. That’s especially true now that vacation rental companies make it easy to get a place with enough room for everyone to have some personal space.

What should you keep in mind if you’re considering vacationing together?

Of course, this kind of arrangement is not for everyone. Former spouses (and anyone else they’re bringing along) need to have an amicable relationship. Vacations can be stressful even for happily married couples. Besides an amicable relationship and plenty of room, what else is required to make a family vacation with divorced parents work? Consider taking the following proactive steps:

  • Determine ahead of the trip how expenses will be divided.
  • Work out how child care responsibilities will be split if your children are still young.
  • Figure out how you’ll divide taking the kids to see particular sights or engage in particular activities.

Make sure your children don’t get the wrong message. Young children, in particular, can assume that a shared experience means that their parents are getting back together.

Start slowly

Finally, it’s probably best to start out with a short getaway like a long weekend to make sure it can work. You don’t want your first post-divorce family vacation to be a two-week Caribbean trip in case it just doesn’t work out like you envisioned.

If family vacations are something you think you’ll be doing on a somewhat regular basis, it can help to put an agreement in place to codify a few things like expenses and parenting time. It might be necessary to adjust your child custody and support orders as well. It may be worth getting some legal guidance to determine if that would be helpful.