There are many people who love to travel and want to share that kind of experience with their children. They might have, at one time, thought that their entire family would be traveling together. After a divorce, however, that could no longer be a possibility.
Whether or not you can take your children out of the state, let alone the country, will depend on your specific custody arrangements.
For local travel
While you should definitely review your parenting plan first, most parents aren’t prohibited from taking their kids on small trips within their own state when it’s their parenting time — just make sure that you either return the kids on time to your co-parent or make an agreement in advance.
For out-of-state trips
It is likely that you and your ex-spouse will have to talk about vacations and what you need to do to take your kids out of the state. Unless the parenting plan prohibits it, out-of-state travel that won’t exceed the boundaries of your parenting time is probably okay. You may, however, need to keep your co-parent informed about your destination and contact information.
For international travel
If you want to travel internationally, then you will need to make sure that it’s acceptable based on your custody agreement. If it isn’t mentioned, speak with the other parent ahead of time, so you can make plans. If they have concerns about you going out of the country, they could try to stop you by seeking support from the court, so it’s always best to be upfront about where you’re going, to provide a schedule for the other parent and offer regular digital visitation while your children are away.
Fears about international travel are usually tied to worries about parental abduction. You’re more likely to encounter resistance if you are trying to travel to a foreign land where you have strong ties.
Conflicts over custody and parenting rights can erupt long after a divorce is final. If you’re struggling to craft a workable agreement with your co-parent, it may be time to revisit your parenting plan with the help of an attorney.