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How Can I Make the First Holiday After a Divorce Less Stressful on the Kids?

Posted on December 15th, 2022

The First Holiday After a Divorce

After a stressful divorce, a holiday is an excellent way to unwind, forget about the past, and remind yourself of how wonderful life can be. Bringing your kids along also helps you reinforce family connections while bringing a sense of optimism into the lives of your loved ones. Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong during a holiday after a divorce. Many spouses are still new to the world of solo parenting, and they may be unfamiliar with the many laws and regulations that surround custody arrangements. This lack of understanding can lead to serious consequences if you are not careful. The good news is that once you become aware of these potential legal issues, you can avoid all kinds of common mistakes.

Give Your Ex Plenty of Notice

One of the most important things about planning a vacation as a single parent is to give your ex plenty of notice. Vacations can be tricky to schedule even without the prospect of a recent divorce thrown in, and you should avoid last-minute trips without telling anyone. As crazy as it might sound, you could be charged with kidnapping if you take off with the kids out of the blue. This can lead to very serious legal consequences, and you could even be incarcerated. Rest assured that many parents have learned this lesson the hard way, and the legal system in California has little patience for parents who completely disregard their exes’ parental rights and the conditions of their custody arrangements. Ignorance is not a valid defense. Both parents must have a chance to have their say before a vacation occurs. Even if it is your turn to have custody of the children during a weekend away, you still need to inform your ex if you plan to leave the state or the nation.

Refer to Your Custody Arrangement

Ideally, you should take your holiday during your pre-arranged parenting time. For example, you might consider a weekend trip if you have custody of the children during the weekends. If you want to take a longer trip, you may need to work with your ex and figure out how to take your children for longer periods of time despite the fact that your custody agreement would not allow you to have custody for that long. In this situation, you would probably need to refer to the exact wording of your custody agreement. Your family lawyers probably worked this eventuality into the arrangement, and you may find instructions on how this situation should be handled within the legal document. If your agreement does not contain any information on how vacations should be handled, it may be time to add these instructions with the help of a qualified family law attorney. When everything is clearly written down, you can reduce confusion and therefore stress.

Keep Communication Channels Open

One way to reduce stress during your first post-divorce holiday is to keep communication channels open with your ex. Give your children plenty of opportunities to chat with your ex during the trip. Consider scheduling video calls and sending plenty of pictures. Phone calls also help reassure your ex and reduce stress on your children. Your family may no longer be together, but you can still show your children that you are willing to work with your ex and function on a cordial, professional level. If you are going to an international destination, be sure to factor in time differences so that you can schedule calls with your ex at reasonable times.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Family Law Attorney in Los Angeles?

If you have been searching the Los Angeles area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than The Harris Family Law Group. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses approach child custody with a sense of confidence and efficiency. We know how important that first vacation can be after a divorce, and we are here to minimize issues so you can make the most of this well-deserved break. Book your consultation today, get the legal advice you need, and fully enjoy your first post-divorce holiday without worrying about legal issues.