Couples with children often enjoy taking vacations as a family when the kids have a break from school. When a couple in Indiana separates, each parent will have to plan separate vacations, which is often more challenging than planning trips together. If you are newly separated from your child’s other parent and are planning a vacation with your child, consider addressing vacations in your parenting plan.
Addressing vacations in your parenting plan
A parenting plan addresses child custody by specifying how you and your ex will share your childcare responsibilities post-separation. If you and your ex are unable to come to an agreement, a judge will review your case and come up with a custody arrangement and plan that suits the best interests of your child.
Your parenting plan will likely include a schedule which specifies when each parent will have time with the child. In addition to time spent during the school year, your parenting plan will also address vacation time. Your plan can include details on:
- Dates: Specific dates for the vacation (particularly if it is a trip that occurs at the same time every year.) If specific dates are not available, the amount of time will be addressed, as well as the time period, if possible (e.g., during summer break).
- Locations: Limits on where you and your ex are allowed to take the children on vacation.
- Activities: Limits on what activities the child is allowed to participate in.
- Notice: The minimum amount of notice one parent must give the other before taking the child on vacation.
- Communication: How often the child will be required to communicate with the parent who is not on vacation with them and how the child will communicate with them (e.g., text messages).
Everyone’s best interests
Even if your parenting plan has established the rules for vacations with your children, it is in everyone’s best interest if you and your ex remain civil and act reasonably. For example, your ex fails to follow your parenting plan guidelines and notifies you of a trip in a week advance, instead of two weeks in advance, you could work with them to make sure the trip still happens.