Top 5 Tips For Child Custody Holiday Agreements

It’s easy for parents to get side-tracked and plan vacations and holidays without their children so as to not alienate the other parent. Other times parents plan exotic and flamboyant holidays just so they can ‘get one over’ on the other parent. In both cases, the children are not considered, and parents should make more of an effort to show their children love and attention. Here are a few holiday tips for separated parents that help ensure that the children enjoy themselves and that the other parent accepts the vacation.

  1. Make sure that you plan ahead with regards to vacation ideas. Most separated parents will have a schedule in place that sets out times and periods in which parents are allowed to take their children on holiday. Follow up on dates with the other parent, and discuss the vacation in more detail a few months before the holiday.
  2. Make sure that all the vacation plans and necessary information are provided to the other parent. The other parent has a right to know where their child is staying, who else will be in contact with the child, and where their child is going. Little or no details can be used against you if a matter is brought to court regarding the care and custody of the children.
  3. Make sure that you understand the legal and regulatory requirements when travelling abroad with children. Consider the written consent required from both parents, as well as the limiting yet protecting Hague Convention and international child abduction laws. Countries bound by the Hague Convention will require the written consent of both parents. This is one of the most important holiday tips for separated parents.
  4. Make sure that the children are aware of the nature of the vacation. They must understand that both parents are supportive of the vacation and that the parent who is not attending the vacation will not be saddened by the fact that the children are going on holiday with the other parent. If this is not communicated the children may feel guilty by going on holiday.
  5. Make sure that the children are properly looked after, and all their needs are considered. Medication, health insurance and constant observance on the part of the traveling parent are important for their own legal protection and the wellbeing of their children. Both parents must understand that vacations should not be used as a competitive tool, neither should they be used to alienate the other parent.

JA Attorneys are specialists in child custody and custody laws in South Africa. Contact us today.