A divorce will change your life in many ways, including how you rear your child(ren). While co-parenting is easier said than done, once you settle into a groove with your arrangement, you’ll find that you can maintain a strong relationship with your child.

If you’re in the process of planning a trip with the kids, there are several key steps to take in order to avoid an argument with the other parent. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Review your child custody agreement. You shouldn’t assume that you can do whatever you want when traveling with your child, as this may not be true. For example, you could discover that you are not permitted to travel outside of the country with your child — or even the state of Colorado, in some cases. Taking a trip with your child is fun, but violating your child custody agreement is anything but that.
  • Set a schedule. If you want to plan a trip without angering the other parent, set a schedule and stick to it. This will allow both of you to be on the same page regarding the trip, e.g., when you’re leaving, when you’re coming home and where you’re staying.
  • Talk about it in advance. It’s not always easy to plan a trip many months in advance, but when it comes to traveling with your child after divorce you should attempt to do so. The sooner you let the other parent in on your plans the better off you’ll be. For example, if you want to take a trip over the Thanksgiving holiday, start talking about the details during the summer months.
  • Communication is essential. This is critical on many fronts. To start, you should openly communicate with the other parent about your travel plans. Also, make sure your child stays in touch with his or her other parent during the trip.

On the surface, it sounds simple to plan a trip with your child after divorce. However, in some instances, the other parent may object to your plans.

If you find yourself in this position, review your child custody agreement to get a better idea of what you can and cannot do. This will help you plan your trip without violating the agreement in any way.