Summer planning is not typically the first issue separated or divorced parents want to resolve. More often the most pressing topic is where the children are going to be living during the year when the parents are working and the children are in school.
However, after decisions about the “typical” week are made, it is important to discuss vacations. Mediation is an effective way to discuss vacations.
Vacations raise a variety of questions:
- How will the parents share information about summer activities?
- When do the applications need to be completed?
- Are there scholarships available, and if there are, what information do the parents need to provide?
- What will the costs be? Who will be responsible for these costs?
- How will the parents coordinate their vacations? When will each parent notify the other one about vacation plans?
- Are there any special travel arrangements that need to be made? (e.g. if the child will be flying alone)
- How much information does each parent want about the other parent’s vacation? Location? Contact information? Names of other people who will be on the vacation?
During mediation parents discuss and answer these questions. Then plans for annual vacations, whether they take place locally or faraway, involve only the child or include his/her parent, can be made more easily and with less stress.