With Easter and Passover fast approaching, many families will be taking holiday vacations. For divorced spouses with children, these holidays can be bittersweet, as the kids often miss their other parent's presence.
Some families have taken the unusual step of agreeing to share vacations together for the children's sake. If the thought intrigues you instead of making you run screaming from the room, read on to learn if it might be a good option for your family.
It's not for everybody
Some couples never get past the scorched-earth anger of the divorce, in which case a shared vacation could be akin to torture. This clearly would not be an option if that is your situation with your ex.
Additionally, both parents should be on the same page about the trip and its purposes. If one former spouse continues to carry a torch for the other, a shared vacation will likely not be a healthy environment.
Hash out the particulars first
Will the costs be evenly split or will one parent be expected to pick up the tab? What will the living and sleeping arrangements be, i.e., separate or shared quarters? Unmet expectations can tank even the best vacations.
What about a blended family vacation?
Some former partners who have moved on to new relationships may want to arrange a vacation for the blended families. This can work out well, but all involved must at the least be able to tolerate and be civil to everyone who will be going on the trip. Otherwise, it might be a nightmare.
Make sure the kids understand
Children naturally may yearn for their parents to reconcile and see this as a first step. It's important that they understand that this is not the prelude to a family reunification plan. Explaining this first can avoid a tearful scene later.
While shared vacations with your ex might not be your first choice, it can work out if the parties are committed to doing what's best for the kids. Your Orange County family law attorney may be able to help you set some parameters for a shared trip.