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Old 27-10-2014, 09:54   #1
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Shared custody while cruising

Hello all! I was curious if there are any families out there cruising part or full time that share custody of a child from a previous relationship? I'm interested in how you make work it out with school, travel back & forth to US, etc. I have a 9 year old who I share 50/50 timesharing with her mother. We live in the Florida Keys & are wanting to cruise the Bahamas & Caribbean. Thanks in advance!

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Old 27-10-2014, 10:09   #2
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Not in this situaiton but as the child of divorce, the thing I think would work would be you get her summer and school breaks and she stays with mom for the school year. Unless, of course, mom home schools her, then you could be more creative.
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Old 27-10-2014, 10:26   #3
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

I'm not sure how anyone could give you good advise as each couple's dynamics are different.

Perhaps the best suggestion is to talk to your ex. Is she even amenable for your child to be off shore or out of country? If so, then it is just a matter of scheduling, but be prepared to be spending $$$ for airfare back and forth if you are out of country.
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Old 27-10-2014, 10:31   #4
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

#1 piece of advice - get it in writing from your ex. Some countries will require this for entry anyway, but the last thing you want to end up with is an accusation of kidnapping. So whatever arrangement you make, get it in writing. Some immigration officials will want to see this up front if only one parent arrives with their child, others won't care. You can research each country as you go, but be prepared for a little more than average difficulty as a parent traveling with a child with shared custody.

Not wanting to scare you off, as I think this is a great learning experience for your kid, just want you to have eyes open.
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Old 27-10-2014, 10:33   #5
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Depends on how important the kids are to you.
- If you play nice with your ex, 3-4 weeks in the bahamas over the summer, with the rest of the time spent locally, so you can be involved with thier lives. This is very realistic and doesn't neccessarily sacrafice the kids for cruising.
- Unless you can afford to fly them in a couple times a month, deep into the caribean, is not realistic if you really want to be part of thier lives.

Not that I'm suggesting you would do it but...

It wasn't cruising but I have a similar situation with one of my brother-in-laws leaving my nieces behind and I want to punch his lights out every time I hear him say anything about how my nieces are important to him after he just picked up and left them behind.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh but better for you to think about it now rather than after you find out your kids feel abandoned.
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Old 27-10-2014, 10:43   #6
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

The hardest part about what you are doing is keeping a good relationship with your ex so that all times and dates can be worked out, as well as keeping legal issues from happening while taking the child out of state or country. And at the same time not upsetting your current relationship. Travel will socially put your child years ahead of her peers and with the internet and the ability to turn in work and take tests from 1000 of miles away, missed assignments or makeup work are a thing of the past. I would try to work out a lot of time in the summer and also extending some holiday and midterm times to increase her stay lengths. Most parents fail the part of communicating with each other and working things out for the benefit of the child.

Here is a nice website that gives advice and schedule examples for custody.

50/50 Custody and Visitation Schedule Examples - Custody X Change
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Old 27-10-2014, 15:07   #7
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Thanks for all the input. We went through all the hard/bitter stuff a few years back in court. Things have simmered quite a bit & we're civil. The court order says she can travel out of the country with 2 weeks notice. I am remarried (7 years now) & have a 3 year old with her. I could never just up & leave & not be a part of my oldest's life. I grew up with split parents & lived with my mom til I was 13 then went to live full time with my dad. He & my stepmother had a 50' Prout that we lived/traveled on when I was 15. It was the best thing that ever happened to me & just want to pass on the experience to my daughters. I just don't want one to experience it & the oldest feel left out. I guess summer sailing is the best, albeit hurricane season down here. I was just curious if there were any other sailors on here that had done it & if so, how. Thanks again!


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Old 27-10-2014, 15:28   #8
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

If your ex is REALLY supportive, maybe she'd go for your daughter taking a leave of absence from school next February-March-April . . . when it's really nice to be in the Bahamas.

We took our kids to the Exumas for two months when they were 6 and 9. Schooltime isn't as inflexible then, as it is once they're in high school. We just told the principal what we were thinking of, and the principal thought it was an awesome idea. The teachers sent the kids off with some work to do along the way. Amazing experience for all.
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Old 27-10-2014, 18:17   #9
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

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Originally Posted by Mellowsail View Post
Thanks for all the input. We went through all the hard/bitter stuff a few years back in court. Things have simmered quite a bit & we're civil. The court order says she can travel out of the country with 2 weeks notice. I am remarried (7 years now) & have a 3 year old with her. I could never just up & leave & not be a part of my oldest's life. I grew up with split parents & lived with my mom til I was 13 then went to live full time with my dad. He & my stepmother had a 50' Prout that we lived/traveled on when I was 15. It was the best thing that ever happened to me & just want to pass on the experience to my daughters. I just don't want one to experience it & the oldest feel left out. I guess summer sailing is the best, albeit hurricane season down here. I was just curious if there were any other sailors on here that had done it & if so, how. Thanks again!

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I just cleared 3 years of bitter divorce with my ex. I fought and won custody of my son, finally, but we were separated for 4 years with only holiday visits by me to him.

Talk to your ex but also talk to your first daughter - presuming based on the timeline she is tween or teen age. My son had big issues of abandonment from me as I lived overseas while he lived in the US.

Whatever happens it is important to stay close physically and emotionally with your first even if it means shelving the dream for a while.

I can imagine from her persepective you have a new wife, a new kid and then leaving would be the icing on the cake.

Don't underestimate the value of stability for her as well. Swiitching back and forth from home schooling to public schooling could really jack her around.

Maybe stay close to home and do the summer trip thingie. Or if hurricanes are problematic maybe a Christmas break trip..

Just 2 cents mode from cyberspace...
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Old 27-10-2014, 19:25   #10
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Thanks Ex Calif. Luckily my oldest was just 2 when we split. So she's been with my present wife for almost 7 years. They have a great bond. Her mom did bad mouth me a bit, but she saw thru it. We're very close and she talks to me about everything. I'd never jeopardize that relationship by skipping out. My wife & I both had sailboats and love sailing. Both daughters have grown up on sailboats too. I think until the oldest is a bit older, the short trips are the best idea. I see what you mean by the ex using it as fodder if we were away the majority of the time. That's guaranteed!


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Old 27-10-2014, 19:26   #11
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Those are all great points you made. Thanks.


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Old 28-10-2014, 12:03   #12
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

There are, children, mothers, fathers, ex wife's and husbands. The ex husband and wife can do anything they like to each other provided it does not impact on the mother or father.
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Old 28-10-2014, 12:42   #13
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Currently, our discussion is over who gets the dog. Years ago, it would e the children. How times change. I get to go without the dog.
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Old 28-10-2014, 13:03   #14
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

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Originally Posted by Mellowsail View Post
Hello all! I was curious if there are any families out there cruising part or full time that share custody of a child from a previous relationship? I'm interested in how you make work it out with school, travel back & forth to US, etc. I have a 9 year old who I share 50/50 timesharing with her mother. We live in the Florida Keys & are wanting to cruise the Bahamas & Caribbean. Thanks in advance!

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I didn't have shared custody, but visitation during my cruise. The first visit, we were still in Florida, and it was easy to rent a car and go meet them at the airport. The second visit, at Christmas, we were in the Bahamas. They were flying as unaccompanied minors which you can't do to the Bahamas, so we had to fly to Fort Lauderdale and pick them up and then fly back in. It took a lot of logistics and cost a bundle, but it was worth it.
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Old 29-10-2014, 18:20   #15
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Re: Shared custody while cruising

Group9- How old were your kids? How long did you go between visits?


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