Divorced parents taking a vacation together to spend time with their kids is becoming an increasingly common experience. This can help those in co-parenting agreements continue making memories with their children, even after divorce.
This type of arrangement can provide comfort and stability for young children, but it can also create potential problems and confusion for the children. When done well, mutual vacations give the chance to build memories together, but when done poorly, it creates unwanted and unnecessary stress. Parents can weigh the pros and cons of vacationing together to make the right choice.
Going On Vacation Brings Unique Considerations
For parents who have gone through a collaborative divorce and ended up on good terms afterward, going on vacation may not seem like a big deal. These parents may already meet up on occasion, and they may spend a lot of chem together as they work to parent their child. They may assume that going on vacation would just be an extension of that.
However, going on vacation means much more time spent together. After divorce, this can create tension. If that tension is not handled well, it can create emotional distress for the child. The parents need to be certain that they can get along well for the duration of the trip before agreeing to go on vacation after a divorce.
Children Can Get Mixed Signals
Another concern when parents go on vacation together after divorce is the signals it can give to the children. This can make children assume that the parents’ relationship is improving, and they may get hope that the marriage is going to reconcile. If parents decide to take this trip together, having an honest conversation with the children will help prevent any misunderstandings or false hope.
Money Conflicts Are Common
Vacation is expensive, and going on vacation with an ex-spouse can create conflicts about money in married couples. Add in the stress of divorce and those conflicts can get even more intense. When vacationing together, discussing money matters ahead of time is vital to protecting the peace. By agreeing upfront on who pays for what, parents can avoid unnecessary conflict and stress for their kids.
Vacationing Can Impact Parenting Time
Vacationing together can complicate the role of parenting time in the relationship. Parents operating under a parenting plan should consider how the vacation impacts that plan. Coming to an agreement about how to account for this shared time with the child before starting the vacation can help prevent arguments on the trip and afterward about parenting plan issues.
Peaceful Vacations Are Possible
Though there are specific considerations to make, families should know that peaceful vacations with an ex after divorce are possible. If the planning and communication happen ahead of time, and the relationship between the parents is amicable, families can find a way to make this work. If not, then it can be a stressful situation for all involved, and parents may wish to consider taking separate trips with their children under the terms of their parenting plan.
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