Summer vacation is a time we all look forward to, being able to relax and enjoy with family. However, for parents who are separated from their partner, it can be more stressful and worrying rather than relaxing. We’ve dealt with many parents in this situation and have put together our advice about how to successfully navigate this time.
Discuss your summer vacation plans early
The earlier you speak with your ex about your plans, the better. If you want to take a trip with your kids, you’ll need to speak to your ex about it to make sure the dates are suitable for them - and to make sure they haven’t booked something. Be clear about your plans, where you intend to go and how long you’ll be away.
Ask them what their plans are, and how you can help accommodate them. The more you cooperate, the better the vacation period will be.
Make sure you and your ex both put your vacation plans in writing (for example, by email). This way, you’ll have certainty over the arrangements and there’ll be no last minute confusion.
Whether your kids are traveling with you or your ex, be clear in advance about how often communication with the other parent is allowed. Many parents will want to check-in with their kids regularly, to see how their vacation is going and give them reassurance and support. At the same time, there are instances where check-ins could become too frequent and disrupt the peace. Be sure to balance this in advance. At the very minimum, you and your ex will need to provide each other your travel details so that you can be contacted in case of emergency.
If you’re separated and traveling to another country with the children
Speak to your lawyer about getting written permission from your ex to take your children to another country. The last thing you want is an issue at passport control or with the police because your ex thinks you’re trying to remove the children from the country permanently.
A written and notarized letter should be sufficient. This should include their contact details (like phone number) in the letter, so that passport control can contact them if needed. Your lawyer can notarize this letter for you.
As the parent, you might also want to carry documentary proof that you’re related to the child. For example, you might have a different surname from your child. Carry their birth or adoption certificates with your travel documents in case you need them.
If there’s an issue with getting permission to take the children on vacation
If your ex refuses to let you take the children on a vacation, speak to your lawyer. Their refusal isn’t necessarily the be-all-and-end-all of the matter. You might be able to get permission from the courts if they’re being unreasonable.
Plan something for yourself
If there’s time during the summer vacation, where you’ll be alone while the kids spend time with your ex, make sure you make plans for yourself. Spend time with friends and extended family to make the most of the summer, rather than dwelling on missing your kids or what your ex may be doing. Parents often prioritize their childrens’ needs over their own, so it’s important to relax and recharge your batteries too.
Are you facing any issues with your summer vacation plans as a separated or divorced parent? Speak to Richmond Tymchuk Family Law LLP about your situation. We’re here to help you navigate this process.