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What Should I Do if I Planned a Family Vacation Without My Ex?

family packing car up for vacation

When summer comes along, parents start to plan family vacations. For families of divorce, summer vacations can quickly turn into a fight amongst the divorced parents. This leads many to wonder whether they can take their child on an extended vacation without permission from the other parent. Often, these trips are out of state or even out of the country. Our New Jersey child custody lawyers are here to explain how to handle summer visitation schedules.

Do I Need Permission to Take My Child Out of State?

When divorced parents are considering taking their child on vacation, they must consider the following:

  • What is currently in the custody and visitation agreement?
  • Does the other parent object to you taking them on vacation/out of state?

Generally, if there is no custody order or the parents are in the early stages of negotiating custody in their divorce. In that case, it usually is acceptable to go on a short trip out of state.

However, if the other parent objects, you should heed their warning. You could get in serious trouble with law enforcement if you try to leave the state without permission. This could lead to severe consequences like jeopardizing your custody and visitation rights.

The court wants to see parents working together to make custody and visitation agreements. If one parent neglected the wishes of the other, the court could be hesitant with their decision to award or even revoke that spouse's custody and visitation rights.

Different Types of Summer Visitation Schedules

Summer is one of the best times to schedule a trip since school is not in session, and it is easy to write into a custody agreement. However, depending on the time of the trip, a vacation could interfere with your ex's custody or visitation time.

A common custody arrangement that some parents opt for involves allowing the non-custodial parent to have custody for one month in the summer. If you plan a vacation, you should choose a month that doesn't interfere with the time the other parent has allocated to spend with your child.

In another common custody and visitation plan, one parent has custody every weekend or every other weekend. When planning a vacation, try to pick a date that doesn't overlap this time. If that's not possible, you should either get permission or see if the other parent would be open to rescheduling their allocated days of custody. Remember, you cannot legally prevent your ex from seeing your child if it's their time to be with them.

What if My Ex Doesn't Agree?

It can be frustrating if your ex is being uncooperative or unreasonable, but you do have options. For example, if you want to take your children out of state but their other parent refuses to give permission to do so, you could ask a judge to issue an order allowing the trip.

Because every case and situation is unique, parents should always either include vacations written into their custody agreement, permission from the other parent, or get a court order.

If you need help negotiating a reasonable schedule with your ex as you create your custody agreement, DeTommaso Law Group, LLC can assist. Our team can help you obtain permission for summer vacations with your children and provide alternatives if your ex is being unreasonable.

Call our Somerset County child custody lawyers today at (908) 274-3028 to set up a consultation.

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