With summer vacation around the corner, many newly-divorced Texans are planning their first trips alone with their children. Traveling with kids always includes some level of stress. However, doing it on your own can be significantly more difficult -- at least the first time. Here are some tips to make the getaway go more smoothly for everyone.
First, check your custody agreement to ensure that you are adhering to any stipulated conditions. These may include giving your ex-spouse a certain amount of notice. Perhaps there may be restrictions involving taking the children out of the country.
It's also generally a good idea to provide your ex with a detailed itinerary of your travel, including flight and hotel information. It's normal for a parent to be apprehensive when children are traveling without him or her for the first time. You also don't want to give your ex-spouse any reason to drag you back into court.
Let your children continue their communication with their other parent while on vacation, even if daily communication isn't part of your custody arrangement. It will help your children feel connected with their other parent and probably help keep the peace as well.
Make sure that your paperwork is in order. This may be particularly crucial for women who have changed back to their maiden names and are now traveling with children who have a different last name. To be on the safe side, it's a good idea to travel with your children's birth certificates and your divorce agreement in addition to your usual identification documents. This is particularly crucial if you are traveling by air, and especially if you are going to another country.
Often, letting your spouse be involved in some way is a good idea to having an enjoyable getaway with your children and avoiding natural feelings of being left out. This may include asking him or her to take the family pets while you're away or look in on the house.
If you foresee any issues or just need some advice on handling your first post-divorce vacation with the children, your Texas family law attorney can probably provide some guidance. If serious issues arise, you may need to make some changes to your custody agreement. However, in many cases, just putting yourself in your ex-spouse's shoes and treating him or her the way you'd want to be treated is all it takes.
Source: Yahoo! Travel, "Just Divorced? Travel Tips Every Newly Single Parent Needs to Know Before Their Next Trip," Hallie Levine, accessed May. 12, 2015