Most people assume that when it comes to divorce-related matters like child custody, there is no such thing as a middle ground. One parent will be awarded primary custody while the other will be awarded visitation time, and each parent will essentially “do their own thing” while spending time with their children.
Interestingly, this traditional belief that former spouses must function independently of one another while spending time with their children may be changing. In fact, an increasing number of divorced spouses are now electing to go on joint vacations with their kids.
The primary reason that many former spouses are electing to vacation together – sometimes with their new spouses in tow – is the shared desire to be with their children during special moments.
For example, a first trip to the beach or to a national park can be a pivotal moment that both parents want to experience and make even more rewarding for their child.
In addition to enhancing the enjoyment that their child may get out of a trip, a joint vacation also cuts down on stress as two people (or more) are available to supervise the child and the vacation budget is doubled.
To illustrate, if the parents combine their available travel budgets, a trip to the cabin can perhaps turn into a trip to Disneyland.
Experts caution, however, that former spouses planning a joint vacation take the time to inform their children that the event is “special” and that the purpose of the trip is not to get back together, but rather to make the trip a memorable experience for them.
Furthermore, experts also highly recommend that former couples discuss travel arrangements/finances/expectations long before taking the trip and that perhaps each parent set aside time to spend with the child on their own.
For those former couples with amicable relationships, the experience of the joint vacation can prove to be quite rewarding.
“I only hope that, for the sake of the over one million children a year whose parents get divorced, it’s a journey more and more families take,” wrote Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington of her own joint vacation with her former spouse and daughters in 2009.
Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …
To learn more about child custody or visitation, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
When mom and dad are divorced, vacationing with the kids may mean traveling with the ex (The Washington Post)