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School’s out: Planning the kids’ summer vacation after divorce

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Child Custody, Children's Issues, Parenting Plans, Visitation and Time-Sharing

Summer vacation from school should be about fun, friends and family. But after divorce, the logistics can become complex and co-parenting with your ex-spouse when school is out stressful. Today we provide some tips about how to approach these issues in ways that help you through these challenges while keeping the children’s well-being in the forefront.

Communicate early

Even if its difficult, if you can start the conversation about summer early – even before school ends if possible – it may save you from headaches later. If it works better, you could use a shared calendar, electronic communication or co-parenting software. An added benefit to online tools is the preservation of the dialog, a good idea that can also be accomplished manually for verbal discussions.

Early planning is smart even if you and the other parent are cooperative. Its not wise to delay this dialog until it might be too late to accomplish activities or trips yet this summer. (Think plane tickets, reservations, passports, identification documents and other similar time-sensitive vacation requirements.) The more detail you can agree on in the parenting schedule early on, the more likely the kids will have opportunities for meaningful and fun times with each parent and both extended families.

What does the divorce decree and parenting plan say?

The custody and visitation provisions of your marital settlement agreement or divorce decree establish the rules you either agreed to or the judge crafted. Your rules for summer break may be detailed down to exact dates and times or more general, giving the parties some discretion in planning. Considerations may include:

  • Anticipate days that may raise conflict like Father’s Day, parental and children’s birthdays, family reunions and traditional summer activities of your exe’s extended family. If you can be generous, you may receive generosity back.
  • Get input from the children if there is wiggle-room in planning. For older kids, it may also be important to plan their own activities without parents as well as to include their friends in family activities at times.
  • Be sure each parent has all medical information, medications, medical equipment and other health care items along with a thorough understanding of all medical needs of the child.
  • When one parent takes the children on vacation, be sure the other has all the details of the itinerary.

Unforeseen questions

You may have questions that require you to contact your family lawyer for guidance. For example:

  • Is it allowable to reach an agreement to swap times, which varies from the divorce judgment?
  • What if there are concerns like people going on the vacation with your child of whom you do not approve?
  • What if the other parent seems to be relapsing into an addiction that merits a change in custody or visitation?
  • Are you worried about your ex-spouse taking the children abroad to visit family or visiting the parent outside the country if they live abroad?
  • And others

A child custody attorney can assist with such issues that can arise as summer vacation looms.


The LAW OFFICES OF FORREST & Forrest, PLLC represents individuals in Fort Lauderdale in high-asset divorce matters. Daniel Forrest is board-certified family lawyer and mediator serving the South Florida area.

  • The Florida Bar | Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
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