divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

it’s 10 PM – do you know where your children are?

{3:48 minutes to read} A complaint heard frequently during a divorce mediation session goes something like this:

“When it is my turn to have the children, why do I need to notify or get permission from my former spouse as to where I am traveling with them?”it’s 10 PM - do you know where your children are? by Jennifer Safian

With the use of cellphones, some parents may argue that one can be reached anywhere, anytime, so why do they need to share this information?  But, think about it. If the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t you like to know ”where your children are?

This issue can also be confusing to the children, who may question why their other parent does not know where they are going, and wonder if they, too, should keep it a secret.

Divorce agreements usually address this question and frequently include wording such as:

“Parents will keep each other informed as to the whereabouts of their children, including giving address and telephone numbers so they can be reached at all times.”

Here are some additional topics that many parents discuss and want included in their agreement:

  • Safety of the destination country: Some parents are concerned about their children travelling to countries that they consider unsafe. They will often agree to have a conversation before making final decisions regarding the trip destinations.
  • Who are the children traveling with? If one of the parents cannot travel with the children, accommodations have to be made. Even if one parent will be at the final destination, the question of who will accompany the children during the trip should be worked out.
    • Will the children travel with a relative, a friend or unaccompanied?
    • A parent may be taking the children to visit his/her family, spending part of the time with them there, and then leaving them for an extended length of time while they go elsewhere.
    • Are both parents comfortable with this situation?
  • Medical conditions: If a child has a temporary or chronic condition, you will need to have a sufficient supply of medications to cover the whole trip. If that is not possible, you will need to locate a doctor at the destination and/or make arrangements to get the additional medication while away. Here again you can better find solutions together.
  • What preparations need to be made for the trip?  The traveling parent may welcome the non-traveling parent’s help in buying clothes or other necessities for the trip. The children will also be more excited with both parents involved in the preparations.

It is my hope that both parents have a chance to discuss the travel issue during the course of the divorce process.  If they prefer not to work out the details at that time, they can at least set up an outline for future travel, filling in the details together as plans arise, and always keeping their children’s well being at the forefront of their communications.

Can you think of other reasons why parents may want to discuss with each other their respective travel plans with the children?

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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One Comment

  1. Lillian August 7, 2015 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Very insightful, Jennifer. Regardless of how they feel about each other, parents need to avoid behavior that is scary and confusing to children

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