For most people, a family vacation is something worth looking forward to. However, this excitement can be considerably complicated if a child’s parents are no longer together and the vacation in question involves traveling out of state.
Depending on the terms of any existing custody order and parenting plan, you may or may not need your co-parent’s consent when traveling out of state or the country with your child.
The role of a custody order when traveling with your child
The terms of your custody and parenting order you have in place applies to any form of travel that involves your child. In fact, this order might even come with a vacation clause. For instance, this order may require the traveling parent to provide a comprehensive itinerary, including the duration of the vacation and where they will be going. It may also require the non-traveling parent to issue written consent.
Traveling when you have joint custody
If you are in a joint custody arrangement, then you likely must secure your ex’s consent for an out-of-state travel. Still, any travel plans must adhere to the terms of the court-approved parenting plan. If the trip is likely to disrupt the normal co-parenting schedule, then you will need to take this into account when seeking your co-parent’s consent. If you do not, they may accuse you of interfering with their parenting rights.
Traveling when you have sole custody
If you have sole legal custody, you may travel out of state without necessarily obtaining your ex’s consent unless your parenting plan specifies otherwise.
Traveling with a child after divorce or separation can be tricky. Before packing travel bags for a vacation, you may want to review the terms of your child custody order and parenting plan and seek legal guidance as necessary.