Now is often the time for summer vacations, and during divorce mediation at Westfield Mediation, LLC, we always ask clients about how they want to include family vacations in their post-divorce parenting plan. Of course, vacations need not be a big expensive trip away – sometimes they just involve an opportunity for each parent to have some extended time with the kids.
Generally, divorcing parents want to keep some of the same plans that they have had before they were divorced. So, for example, if they usually take a week with the kids down the shore, or attend an Independence Day barbecue with family, they want to keep that consistency. In mediation, we suggest that divorcing parents make their vacation plans a few months before summer begins to give both parents time and notice, and we put safeguards in their agreement so that there are no disputes about who gets which week for his/her plan.
Sometimes, when clients have long-term traditions of spending time with family or family friends over the summer, it can be difficult to decide whether and how to alter these traditions. Can you both still go? Do you need to alternate years? Do you need to come up with a totally different plan, so no one feels left out? By addressing these issues in divorce mediation, we work to resolve them sooner rather than later to minimize future disagreements. With productive, early communication, both you and your children can have a fun-filled summer.