By Debra L. Rubin

The kids are out of school and summer is here, but if this is your first summer as a divorced family, navigating vacations can be tricky.

Whenever possible, it is best to approach any situation between you and your ex with an open line of communication and a mutual respect for each other’s time with your children.

If you are taking the kids on a vacation, you should provide your ex with your itinerary, including dates of travel, and hotel and airline information.  If your ex is taking the kids on a vacation, you should expect the same information as well.

Be mindful of what you say and how you act in front of your children.  They may have mixed feelings about this first vacation where they do not have both parents present.   Don’t use this special one-on-one time to say negative things about your ex or to vent your frustrations about the divorce.  Rather, leave the negativity behind and work on creating new and special memories for you and your children.

If there is a significant other in your life you should consider several factors before deciding to bring them along on a vacation. How long have you been involved with this person?  Are your children comfortable with this person?   If you are newly divorced it is probably not a good idea to bring a significant other with you.  Your children are still adjusting to this major change in their life, and they may not feel comfortable “sharing” you with someone else this soon.  On the flip side, if your significant other has been in your life for a long period of time and has a positive relationship with your children, then you might consider including him or her on such a trip.

Of course, all these scenarios are unique to each family’s situation.  The age of your children, their maturity, how difficult your divorce was, and the relationship you maintain with your ex (and their significant other as well) all come into play.

The most important thing is to remember that there are children involved and you must be mindful of their feelings and consider how they will react to each situation.