Guilderland, NY – Who doesn’t enjoy a vacation? Whether it’s a staycation, trip to the mountains or beach, visiting with family, we all look forward to it. When a family is apart, vacations can become a tug of war, leaving you so emotionally exhausted you wish you had just stayed at work. How do you avoid it?
Plan Ahead- If you have an agreement, make sure you have provided for vacation time. Your agreement should also mirror what is available to you. If you have a job that provides for four (4) weeks of vacation that you want to spend with your children, don’t agree to one week. However, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. In other words, if you want 2, 3, 4 weeks, the other parent should be entitled to the same period of time.
Travelling Across Borders– If you are travelling to another country you will need a passport for your child. You may also need a letter from the other parent giving consent. Check the Federal State Department website for more information. As you may need cooperation and assistance from the other parent, you should have a provision in your agreement that requires each of you to cooperate with international travel. In addition, plan ahead. It does not help you to need documentation signed if the other parent is unavailable. Further, if they are unwilling to cooperate you need provide sufficient time to take the matter to court.
Communication- Parents will frequently withhold information from each other as to where they are going, staying, etc. Keep in mind that once your children are over the age of 2 they will probably tell the other parent, so why hide it? Further, do you want to know where your child is every night? If so, the other parent probably feels the same way. However, if your ex tells you he is taking the children to Timbuctoo, a nasty response such as “happy you have the money” “enjoy your trip with your **# girlfriend”, etc. will not engender better and more disclosure in the future.
Notification– Your agreement should provide that you notify each other of vacation plans by a certain date or a certain time period before you take the time. If it does not, notify the other person as soon as you know so plans don’t conflict. Another suggestion is a “coin flip” conflict resolution. For example, if Mom and Dad both want the same week, in odd years Mom picks and in even years Dad picks. This way, a decision is easily reached.
Special Occasions– Your former brother –in-law is getting married at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on a certain date and you wanted to spend that week at your backyard pool with Junior. Can you pick another week? If there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for your child, and this is a special occasion for [the other side of] the family, is there a [good] reason Junior can’t go? What is best for Junior?