As many of us have weathered the current situation, and our planned trips and plans had to be cancelled, parents have asked whether they can still use their planned vacation time to do a staycation with the children. Of course, you can do that, you do not even have to plan day trips or any travel away from home. The Governor has not changed or cancelled any custodial times in any of his Orders since March, so take advantage of your family time and relax. Even without Covid, your vacation time can be reserved for staycations, since it may be difficult to coordinate time off from work, or schedules for the children around sports, trainings, and camps.
Several things to keep in mind:
- Observe the obligations you may have in a Court Order for notice in advance (i.e. 30 days in advance if that is what your Order says);
- Communicate in writing, preferable email, with the other parent to advise them of your vacation plans and the relevant dates;
- Adhere to any requirements in your Court Order as to when vacations can be taken, whether they can be taken during school sessions, or are limited to summer;
- Normally, you cannot take vacations over another party’s holiday time, unless agreed upon in advance;
- Provide full information as to the place you are traveling to, your mode of transportation, as well as flight or other specific information including airlines, airports, flight numbers, etc., and the location you will be staying. It is usually not sufficient to say only that you will have your phone with you;
- If phone calls between parents and children are to take place, you should continue this pattern during vacation, although you may have to adjust the timing of the calls. If you are at a resort and there are programs until 9:00 PM, make sure the call takes place before bedtime;
- If you are going to the “beach” be specific as to which beach, and the hotel/condo you are staying at during your travel; and
- If your Custody Order says that you must use your own custodial weekend, watch for that, as it could cause problems for plans another party has on their weekends.
Remember that following the rules in your Order will make it easier for everyone to follow and cause less friction between parents. So, for example, if you take a one-week vacation that includes the other party’s weekend, you will likely find the same thing happening to you the next time, and you will continue to have a problem that impacts everyone unnecessarily.
For more information and to schedule a Legal Consultation, please call (610) 866-9529 or complete an online form https://www.gardnerlawyers.com/contact-us