November 2, 2015

Vacations and Divorce

520749655-man-in-mid-air-jumping-into-pool-during-gettyimagesVacations are a common part of family life.  Some families like to camp or take close-to-home trips to a local hotel or amusement location.  Other families have vacation traditions, such as family reunions or a favorite locales that they visit year after year.  And others may like to spend freely and take extravagant vacations.

It is common to be concerned about vacations in divorce.  When one, nuclear family becomes a bi-nuclear family with two home bases, it may seem like a foregone conclusion that vacations will need to end.  While things certainly need to change, in a collaborative divorce, parents can work to develop a parenting plan that incorporates vacations and time away with the kids.

It is common in parenting plans to provide each parent a certain number of days to take the children on vacation.  This time typically supersedes regular parenting plan – it is not a trade-off of days.  The parenting plan can outline further parameters on vacations, such as:

  • How much notice should be given for an upcoming trip.
  • Whether or not vacations can incorporate missing school.
  • Number of consecutive days allowed.
  • Communication parameters between the off-duty parent and the children while on vacation.
  • How far the children may be taken and what activities are permissible.

Parents often also work out the finances of a vacation in the divorce.  Sometimes vacation expenses are built into budgets and spousal maintenance obligations and other times each parent covers their own vacation expenses with the children.

When parents work together on a parenting plan, they can come up with good resolutions about vacations and travel. A good collaborative professional can help start this process.


Kimberly Miller
Attorney, KM Family Law, LLC

Kimberly Miller, JD, MA, LAMFT is known for her ability to resolve challenging family issues without resorting to aggressive legal strategies that are damaging to vital family relationships. After years of litigating business and family disputes at a prominent national firm, she recognized the devastating psychological and financial impact that litigation can have on individuals, couples, and other loved ones. She decided to establish her own practice to promote alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as collaborative law and mediation, to reach consensus. Learn more at

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