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San Diego Family Mediation Center

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Traveling with Your Child During the Holidays 

By Amanda Singer

The holidays are a time of year where many people travel, whether it’s for vacation or to visit family in other areas of the country. However, if you’re going through a divorce or already divorced, that can make traveling with your child more difficult. Here are some helpful reminders to keep in mind this holiday travel season.  

Scheduling Tips

Be sure to check your holiday schedule in your agreement or work on getting one done with your co-parent. While your holiday schedule can be flexible and changed if you choose, it controls if you both disagree on who has what for holidays. If you don’t have a holiday schedule land, find yourselves arguing about who has the child(ren) for what then it might be time to sit down together and come up with one. Working with a mediator can help you with this discussion and allow for a neutral third party to help with problem-solving and settling disagreements.  

It’s essential to plan! While you might already plan for travel, especially when flights are needed, when you need to coordinate with a co-parent, it’s even more critical to plan ahead.

You want to give yourselves time to work out any issues that might come up with scheduling or location. Making sure that the other parent isn’t trying to plan a trip at the same time is essential as well and coordinating plans for holidays in general. 

Be sure to check your holiday schedule to make sure that your travel plans fall in line with what you’ve both agreed to or to check with the other parent if you want to make any changes.

Planning gives you the time to work out any issues if you don’t agree. Especially when planning out of the country travel, you’ll want to make sure that the other parent doesn’t object to where you’re taking them or has any concerns about the trip. 

Out-of-State & International Travel- Special Considerations

If you are planning on traveling outside of the state or the country, make sure that you have all of the necessary travel documents. We always recommend having a signed, notarized letter from your co-parent giving their permission to travel, especially if you’re flying out of the country, so it’s never a question of whether the other parent knew and gave their permission or not. Additionally, if you have a different last name from your child(ren), you may want to fly with their birth certificates and be sure to have a notarized letter, even for domestic travel. Making sure you have all of the necessary documents far in advance will make everything smoother.  

Want some help to assist in traveling with your child during the holidays? Contact San Diego Family Mediation Center by calling (858) 736-2411. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your concerns.