It’s been a while in the making, but you’re finally divorced.
And, as if that weren’t enough, your ex moved to another state.
So, now you have to navigate your kid’s travel back and forth between Utah and “that other state” during the holidays.
Travel can be daunting (mainly because coordinating travel can devolve in to a fight between you and your ex), but here are some tips that will make the whole process go much smoother.
Tip #1: communicate — a lot.
The most important rule for successfully navigating your kid’s holiday travel is to communicate with your ex. Communicate a lot. Communicate too much, in fact.
Because the most common problem we run in to as Utah divorce attorneys is parents who don’t communicate much and, as a consequence, encounter to massive scheduling problems.
Also, when parents don’t communicate, one side always feels like they’ve been shut out of the process, which engenders resentment, and that doesn’t help.
Tip #2: start scheduling holiday travel early.
The earlier you start planning holiday travel, the fewer problems you’ll have.
One reason: you’ll get cheaper airfares (if you’re flying).
Another reason: starting early forces you to communicate and coordinate well in advance of the holidays, when there’s less stress.
Tip #3: establish a travel routine and stick with it.
Routines are good. Humans like routines. They’re predictable and help decrease stress.
If you drive to make the holiday exchange, pick a midway point and always use that midway point. And have a standard time you meet to make the exchange. The more predictable, the better.
If your child flies for the holidays, establish a particular airline and flight time and work that routine every time.
Tip #4: don’t do connections when flying.
If your kid’s flying, buy direct flights if at all possible. For some reason, parents in post-divorce situations really dislike flights with connections.
I’m not sure why this is, but it is, so buy direct flights.
Tip #5: be accommodating.
Many parents are super rigid with holiday travel.
Keep in mind, except in very rare circumstances, everyone’s trying to make the holidays work, so be accommodating.
For example, if you have primary custody, give your ex some extra time at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Don’t sweat a few hours.
Being rigid and creating tension during the holidays doesn’t help you, it only hurts your child.
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