With Labor Day behind us, and fall upon us, we all know that portends that the holiday season is just around the corner.  Now is the perfect time to make advanced plans for upcoming holiday breaks and family gatherings. Co-parenting during these times can present challenges, and with a of foresight and clear communication, you can navigate this more seamlessly. The coming holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the festive winter holidays are loaded with emotions, expectations and anxiety thus increasing the potential for misunderstanding and conflict. If you delve into the list below to pinpoint areas where you might need to enhance your co-parenting abilities, you can see what to shore up in advance to ensure enjoyable times during these customary celebrations.

For divorced co-parents thinking about holiday trips with their children, consider these guidelines:

Parenting Plan First:

Always start by checking your most current parenting plan in the holiday section and the travel section. Ensure any travel ideas adhere to this agreement. If the plan stipulates the need for mutual consent, both parents should reach an agreement about the itinerary. A well-laid-out plan can avert misunderstandings and apprehensions.  Remember to see which parent is to cover the cost of transportation and your duty to provide itinerary and communication to the home parent.

Clear Communication:

Discuss all elements of the trip early – including dates, air lines, destinations, travel specifics, activities and emergency contacts.

Smooth Out Scheduling:

Do your best to ensure your planned getaway doesn’t clash with the other parent’s scheduled time. Many a hearing has been held over the long trip to visit grandparents in other countries that was done routinely during marriage, or who’s turn it is to control the winter celebration days such as Christmas Eve, Day and Hanukah.  Your tie breaker clause assists so that in different years if there is a conflict, then one parent has the right that year to decide.

Traveling internationally?

You will need your “custody evidence” including your divorce decree and parenting plan or a notarized letter of consent from the other parent. Be sure to gather all pertinent documents beforehand.  It is terribly stressful to get to the airport and then realize you do not have the required document.

Health & Safety:

The well-being of the children is paramount. Evaluate the safety of your chosen destination and means of transport. Ensure the chosen activities and places align with the kids’ ages and preferences, guaranteeing their comfort and enjoyment. If any of your children have medical conditions, carry all essential medications and equipment.

Financial Considerations:

This is a dicey issues for nearly every single co-parent, however if you can budget for the entirety of the vacation in advance including travel, stay, meals, and entertainment it reduced anxiety on the trip and also the strain regarding financed upon your return and may reduce any monetary disputes down the line.

Embrace Flexibility:

Plans might need to shift. Be open to change and compromise. Lately we have faced many weather interferences at holiday time of year.  Last year there were record flight cancelations and many holiday plans were completely destroyed. If reaching an agreement becomes tough, think about getting a mediator involved in advance. A mediator’s impartial insights can often guide your terms of agreement with new ideas that may not have been contemplated otherwise.

By adhering to these guidelines, divorced co-parents can craft a memorable fall or holiday break for their children, all while keeping disagreements to a minimum and prioritizing everyone’s safety and happiness.

Remember, the ultimate goal is your children’s happiness and developing positive memories during the holidays. With this guidance and extra care and consideration, you are ensuring your child can cherish every moment of the holiday season.

Experiencing co-parenting difficulties? McMurdie Law and Mediation can guide you. Reach out at (480) 777-5500 to book a consultation.