You’re fortunate to have the money to take your family on some great vacations during the summer break from school. One year, you went to Europe and rode the trains from country to country. Another year, you went to Hawaii and hiked in the rainforest. Another time, you rented a luxury yacht and spent a month traveling around the Caribbean.
You love these trips. Your children love these trips. You don’t want them to end.
Here’s the catch: You’re getting divorced. Should you still go on family vacations, even after the split? You know it’s what your children want; they have told you they’d like to keep going on trips with everyone involved. But should you do it?
Some people do
If you feel surprised or even stunned at the very idea, you should know that people do it. Some celebrities — Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Hilary Duff, Mike Comrie, etc. — have famously made headlines for post-divorce family trips. They find ways to make it work.
So, it is possible. It may be emotionally difficult, depending on what your relationship with your ex looks like. If the two of you can’t stand to spend time together at home, a trip is out of the question. But, if you are on fairly good terms, you may be able to do it.
Who gets to come?
One important question to ask is who gets to come. Have you started dating again? Maybe you already got remarried. When Martin and Paltrow went on their trip, her new husband came along as well. Again, it’s possible. Some people may find it very hard, though.
Why would you do it?
The main reason to do it is because the kids want it, and you don’t want to disappoint them. You both get to have this experience with them, rather than having to plan separate trips and work out all of the details.
It may also make things easier from a custody perspective. If your ex has a right to see the kids once a week, you need permission to go on a month-long vacation. If you all go, though, your ex still gets to see the kids on schedule and you don’t have to worry about violating a court order.
What do the children think?
Finally, ask yourself what the children think. Remember, they may want you and your ex to get together again. They may see a joint vacation as a sign that you will. Do not give them false hope. Look out for them first and put their best interests at the forefront.
Complicated custody arrangements
No matter what you decide to do, you can see that custody often becomes fairly complicated. Make sure you know what legal rights you have.