You’re checking off all the items necessary to create an unforgettable vacation for you and your children. While this trip provides you the opportunity to create new memories post-divorce, it is important that the divorce itself is still part of your planning consideration.
Your timesharing, or child custody/visitation order may have specific guidelines and details related to what you can and cannot do when traveling with your children. Understanding these in advance will help you plan and enjoy a stress-free trip. Also, how you communicate with your ex-spouse regarding the vacation may have an impact on your ongoing post-divorce relationship.
So before you throw sunscreen in a bag and run out the door, consider these three items related to traveling with kids after divorce:
- Plan Early. While you may be an impulsive jet setter, traveling with kids after divorce requires the opposite. Start planning your vacation well ahead of the travel dates. To begin with, this gives you time to ensure your intended travel dates and location are within the guidelines set forth in your Parenting Plan (timesharing/custody agreement). Popular travel times, such as Spring Break, may alternate between parents from year-to-year. Summer vacation may provide the opportunity to travel for a more lengthy vacation. If you would like to travel when it is not your specified time, you need to discuss and clear that with your ex-spouse before you start planning travel arrangements/accommodations. If they don’t agree, you will need to alter your travel dates to work within your Parenting Plan (timesharing/custody order);
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- Communicate all travel details and with your ex-spouse and save the correspondences. While this is your time alone with your kids, your ex-spouse needs to be kept in the loop regarding details and itineraries. Let them know where you are going to be on what dates (both general location and the specific hotel) and be sure to save all email correspondences regarding this topic. Not only will this help facilitate a positive relationship between the two of you, but it will also prevent any opening for a disagreement between what was said/disclosed that could eventually turn ugly. You may also, if it is not addressed in your Parenting Plan (timesharing/custody agreement) or court order, want to determine how often and by what means (phone, email, text, etc.) your ex-spouse will communicate with the children during your time with them; and
- Be sure to have the proper travel documents and papers. Children traveling outside the United States are required to have a passport. If your child doesn’t already have one, both parents must give their consent for its issuance. (The exception to this is in cases with sole decision making custody.) Additionally, many countries, including Mexico and Canada, require a minor child traveling with one parent to carry a written, notarized consent form from the absent parent permitting the travel. In the absence of a passport while traveling domestically, it is prudent to carry a copy of your child’s birth certificate along with a copy of the Marital Settlement Agreement and Final Judgment including the Parenting Plan.
Traveling with your children after divorce is an important part of fostering a solid relationship with them. However, there are issues to consider during the planning of these vacations. Sitting down with an experienced family law attorney may be a good way to ensure you are addressing every critical component ahead of time and are therefore able to maximize your enjoyment during the trip.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss traveling with children after divorce, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.
Source: Our Family Wizard