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Setting Post-Divorce Vacation Guidelines

June 22, 2018  | 

{4:00 minutes to read}  After a divorce, many somewhat routine aspects of your life will be changing. It may be hard, but as you move forward with your life, you will have to adapt to these changed situations. In some cases, you may be able to anticipate those situations, and include provisions in your settlement agreement.

During the mediation, being asked about what types of vacation provisions you want in your agreement may come as a surprise. The idea of going on a vacation without your spouse is unimaginable to you, and not seeing your children for a long period of time when they’re on vacation with your ex is unsettling.

Yet, here are some things you can think about in advance to help you adjust to the idea of separate vacations with your children and what terms you want in your agreement.

How Much Time and When 

  • Will vacation time mean just the summer, or school recesses as well?
  • If your children are in camp, how many non-camp weeks are there, and will this available time be split between you equally?
  • How far in advance should notice be provided so you both can make plans?
  • Shall you alternate the first choice for vacation weeks to avoid you both wanting the same week?
  • If you both agree to more than one week of vacation, are the weeks consecutive?

Travel Outside of the Country

  • Should travel abroad be permitted or permitted only if you both agree to the travel?
  • Are there certain places to which you believe the children should not travel, even if you agree to travel out of the country?
  • In addition to naming certain locations, your agreement can also prohibit travel to a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention (a treaty that provides an expeditious process to return a child if the parent refuses to do so).
  • You can also provide that travel is not permitted to a country for which the State Department has issued a Travel Advisory other than normal precautions.
  • Who holds the passports? The agreement should provide that whoever holds them will give them to the other parent in advance of the travel, and then that party is to return them with the children.
  • What kind of documentation would be required by the airline for children traveling with only one parent? Your agreement should provide that you will each sign any such documentation.

Details of Travel

  • Will each of you provide an itinerary when you travel?
  • How to reach the children if cell service is not available in the location?
  • Shall you speak in advance of the travel as to the time of day you can communicate with the children?

Even though it might be painful to you now, take the time to think through what you may want in the future. If you can’t afford to travel, taking a “staycation” is perfectly fine. The vacation time you spend with your children without the day-to-day responsibilities of work or school is so important, and you should take advantage of that special time.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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