4 Tips for Traveling with Kids This Summer

Few things are as enjoyable and memorable as a summer vacation. Whether you’re traveling to Disney, to see the Grand Canyon, to visit relatives, or anything else, you are sure to have a great time with your children. During your marriage, you could load up the kids and bring them anywhere you wanted without worry. After a divorce, however, there are a number of extra things you need to consider before taking any trips.

Crossing State Lines

If you are planning a trip to another state, or another country, you will need to get permission from the other parent. Just about every custody agreement will include a restriction that says neither parent is permitted to take the children out of the state without prior permission. Ideally, you should get your ex to sign a paper saying that they are aware you are taking the kids on a cross-state vacation and they have approved of it. If you fail to get this written permission, your ex could call the police and even charge you with kidnapping!

Planning Around Parenting Time

If the time with the children is divided up throughout the summer, you may need to ask your ex to either give up some of their time, or trade days with you, while on vacation. Ideally this should be a simple process, but in many high-conflict relationships it can be a nightmare. Talking to your ex as early as possible to get this arranged can help make the process easier. As with crossing state lines, you will want to get an agreement to trade parenting days in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.

Restricted Even with Primary or Sole Custody

Many parents who have either primary physical custody or even sole custody of the children mistakenly think that they are permitted to take the children out of state without prior permission. While there are times when this is the case, it is likely that you will still need to at least notify the other parent before leaving. If you leave the state without notifying and getting an agreement, it could look quite bad to the courts should a child custody modification case be filed by your ex.

You Can Fight for Vacation Rights

In some high-conflict relationships the other spouse may refuse to allow you to take your children across state lines. While it is best to try to work it out with them, sometimes that isn’t possible. If you still want to push to take a fun family vacation, you can petition the court to allow this to happen. The courts will look at the specifics of your case, and work to confirm that you aren’t at risk of just running away with the children and not coming back. In most cases, they will grant approval for you to take the children on this vacation, even without the consent of the other parent.

Speak with an Attorney

Whether you need to fight for your right to take your children on vacation, or you just have some questions about how to handle a situation, we are here to help. Contact attorney Ray Garcia to go over your options and see how to best proceed.