You might think that vacationing together as a family after divorce is something only celebrities and people who can afford side-by-side vacation homes do. However, divorced couples from all walks of life take vacations together with their children and sometimes even new spouses and stepchildren.
Families vacation together after divorce for a multitude of reasons. For one thing, it can be far less expensive than two separate vacations. It can also be less stressful when both parents are there to supervise and entertain the kids. If your kids are still young, vacations are a time of firsts that many parents don’t want to miss. For parents of kids of all ages, it can just give them more time together.
Finally, vacations, just like holidays and special events, can help kids continue to build some happy memories with their parents even after they’re divorced. It’s essential, however, for kids to understand that a vacation isn’t a step towards reconciliation – just a time for you both to be with them.
Some ground rules are essential
If you’re going on a vacation together, it’s wise to have some ground rules about your expectations for the kids. If you’ve been parenting separately for a while, you may find that your ex has developed some new parenting habits – and you probably have as well. It’s also wise to determine ahead of time how expenses will be divided, how accommodations will be shared and other logistics.
It’s also a good idea to plan some time apart. You should probably each have some time alone with your kids. You each may want to take some time completely alone or with your new spouse or significant other as well. Having enough space that you’re not always dealing with each other is good too. There are plenty of vacation homes available for rent if sharing a hotel suite provides too much togetherness.
Certainly, vacationing together isn’t something that all divorced parents can do. It could be a disaster. If you’re not sure whether it’s right for you, you could start with a weekend getaway and see how it goes.
If shared family vacations are going to become a regular event, it’s a good idea to look at how this affects your parenting time agreement. You may need to make some modifications and possibly draw up a vacation agreement. Your attorney can help you.