More and more parents who divorce when their children are still fairly young are doing something others find shocking: going on vacation with their former spouses and kids. While some divorced couples would not dream of voluntarily spending time with an ex-spouse, others insist this is an excellent opportunity to create good memories and save money.

One man says vacationing with his ex-wife and their children is good for the kids, as well as the adults. Having been divorced since 2006, he says vacationing this way is a nice break for parents who have gone through a divorce, as they can share child-supervising duties and have more time to relax. Also, he notes that it is a welcomed change to have a conversation with an adult, rather than only talking to children.

A 39-year-old actress pointed out that vacationing this way allows her and her former husband to see their son’s “firsts.” Now that she and her ex-husband are both remarried, they vacation with their new spouses, their child and the step-children, sincerely enjoying spending time together and making happy memories for the children.

Many well-known people are vacationing this way. For example, Bruce Willis has vacationed with ex-wife Demi Moore, their three daughters and her current husband Ashton Kutcher. When asked about this arrangement, he simply responded, “We still raise our kids together – we still have that bond.”

A psychologist in Beverly Hills stated that she is in favor of divorced couples vacationing amicably with their kids. However, she warned that children frequently fantasize about their parents getting back together, and vacationing this way might fuel that desire. Therefore, it is important for parents to be clear about what the trip means.

How can a person plan for a successful trip with an ex? Some people suggest doing this only when neither adult is in a serious relationship. Also, negotiate ground rules prior to the trip. This includes reaching an agreement about finances, chores and sleeping arrangements. Some say it can be helpful to plan for some time apart during the trip.

Source: The Washington Post, “When mom and dad are divorced, vacationing with the kids may mean traveling with the ex,” 16 March 2011