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Handling anxiety when your child travels

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Many parents struggle with anxiety when their child travels with the other parent. After divorce, this separation from your little ones can be difficult.

Try these tips to cope when your coparent notifies you about upcoming vacation plans that involve your child.

Have it in writing

When you negotiate your parenting plan, address the guidelines each parent will follow about vacations. For example, do scheduled vacations take precedence over the regular parenting time schedule? Where should your kids go when they have a school break? How much notice should each parent provide the other about a vacation plan? Does out-of-state or international travel require permission from the other parent? Knowing the answers to these questions in advance can help quell some of your anxiety.

Ask for an itinerary

You have the right to know where your child will be on each day of the vacation. Request a general schedule and a number where you can reach your child. Be sure to provide the same courtesy when your turn comes to take a trip.

Schedule a regular call

Both parents have the right to spend uninterrupted time with their children. Respect the other parent’s time while staying connected to your child by scheduling a check-in phone call or texting time. Doing so will make it easier to relax knowing that your child is safe and having fun.

Take time for yourself

Staying busy and spending enjoyable time alone or with friends can help relieve some of the anxiety you feel. Plan a spa getaway, get tickets to see your favorite band or team, or simply take yourself out to your favorite restaurant. Yoga, relaxation and exercise will go a long way in this scenario.

Review your custody order carefully so you understand the provisions about vacation. You can ask the court for a modification if the plan you agreed to no longer works for your family’s lifestyle. This may be useful if you want to clarify your parenting agreement with more specific language about travel.

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