After divorcing, you may still have to deal with your spouse on a regular basis if you the two of you share parenting of a child. While you may have worked out a good rhythm for your daily, weekly or monthly routine, things can get a bit more complicated around holidays or other times when one of you may want to take the child traveling for more than a day or two. Lengthy traveling with a child can create a great deal of conflict with the other parent, especially if you don’t work out all the details ahead of time.
Let’s say you’ve got some vacation days saved up and want to take your child on a road trip to Disney World over Spring Break or as a fun trip after school lets out for summer in a couple of months. If you and the other parent’s parenting plan doesn’t include specific language about long-term travel, or even if it does, you should keep the matter as simple as possible by making sure to clear the trip with the other parent before you hit the road. When traveling becomes a problem, it is generally because one parent does not keep the other informed about where the child is and what they are doing.
Of course, even if you do sort things out ahead of time, some people have a remarkable ability of finding a way to have a problem with a plan they already agreed to. You can protect yourself from unnecessary drama and possibly legal action by documenting your plans and archiving any correspondence you and the other have that prove they consented to the trip. Also, it is important to make sure that you are not violating your parenting plan by taking more time than is typically allotted to you.
If you are taking a longer-than-normal amount of time with the child, be sure to have the other parent document in writing that you both approve. Should you run into an issue here, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help preserve your rights as a parent.
Source: Our Family Wizard, “Traveling With Kids After Divorce,” accessed March 17, 2017