Many people struggle to share custody with their former spouses. Even the daily obligations of school and work can be hard for parents to manage when they share custody. When you want to do something out of the ordinary, like travel with your children, the situation will likely become more complicated.
If you intend to travel out of Virginia with the children during the holidays, a school break or the summer, it is crucial that you are proactive about communicating with the other parent.
What does your ex actually need to know?
You might not like the idea of sharing the itinerary of your trip with your ex. After all, you did not plan it for their benefit. However, you may need to reschedule some of your parenting time in order to work around your trip.
Telling your ex where and when you want to travel as soon as you start making plans will help ensure that they can accommodate you. Communication can make them feel more comfortable with your travels. If they have an itinerary and know where you will stay and how to reach you, they may be less likely to worry. You may also want to mention how you will protect your children’s health during your trip.
Is all of this absolutely necessary? Probably not, but it can help keep your working relationship with your co-parent on an even keel.
Will your ex have to approve of all of your travel plans?
Ultimately, your parenting plan determines who gets to decide where you can travel with your kids. If your parenting plan does not restrict your travel in or out of the state during your parenting time, then your ex has no say in where you go or what you do.
If your parenting plan limits you to a certain distance or requires approval from your ex or the court, then you may need to talk with them before you pay any deposits on your trip. Communicating effectively with the other parent can make shared custody easier, even when you want to do something out of the ordinary.