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Should you be able to travel with your children after divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Child Custody

If you have gone through a divorce, one of the things that you may have decided is that neither you nor your ex can travel beyond a certain distance with your children without permission from the other parent. While this restriction may seem to be a good way to prevent issues like parental kidnapping or missed visitation dates, it can also provide an unreasonable impediment to travel or taking a vacation with your children throughout the year.

If you want to travel with your kids, one of the better things to do is to talk to your ex about setting up a travel plan. This way, you can both decide on when it’s safe and fair to travel with your children.

Traveling within the state

If you will be traveling within the state, this may be the least problematic kind of travel. With in-state travel, you may simply need to notify your ex of the specific location you’re visiting, like a family member’s home, that is further away than you’d usually go with your kids.

Traveling out of the state

If you want to travel outside of the state, talk to your ex about your timeline. If you have a custody conflict, look into ways to address that before leaving. For example, if the other parent will miss two days of visitation time while you’re away, consider exchanging those visitation days with two of your custody days to make up for it upon your return.  However, if the other spouse does not agree, then you should either modify your travel plans so you do not violate the custody order or seek permission from the court to extend your time for the intended travel.

Traveling out of the country

You shouldn’t try to get passports or international travel documents for your children without your ex-spouse’s knowledge, and oftentimes, both parents have to consent. Talk to them about why you want to take your kids out of the country. Work together to get them the documents they need, and make a travel itinerary. If your ex is uncomfortable with international travel, provide them as much assurance as is reasonable. Travel authorization documents can provide the dates and location of permitted travel and specify the departure and return dates.  If you can’t work out a solution and try to go anyway, they may take steps to prevent you from going.  You can actually be denied entry to foreign countries if you do not have the other parent’s written permission.

Child custody can be tough, and traveling adds an additional element of concern. It’s always best to set clear expectations and to have good communication when travel is involved.

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