Over 30 Years Experience Focused In Divorce & Family Law

Can My Ex Take My Children on Vacation Out of State?

by | May 28, 2024 | Family Law |

Parenting after a divorce can feel like mastering a complex choreography. Balancing work, life, and your child’s best interests is a daily juggling act. Then comes the delicate dance of vacation planning—a task that now requires moving to the legal and emotional beats of a divorce.

If your ex takes the initiative to whisk your children away to another state, it’s only natural for you to wonder, “Is this legal? What are my rights?” If you find yourself in this position, the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can help you understand and protect your parental rights.

Legal Considerations

When it comes to vacationing out of state, the specific terms of your custody agreement or court order will determine whether your ex can take your children without your consent. If your custody agreement states that both parents must agree on out-of-state trips, then your ex cannot legally take the children without your approval.

On the other hand, if you have shared legal custody and there are no restrictions regarding out-of-state travel, your ex may be able to take the children on vacation without your consent.

Steps to Take

If you have concerns about your ex taking your children out of state without your permission, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible. Here’s what you can do:

  • Review Your Custody Agreement or Court Order: As mentioned earlier, the specific terms of your custody agreement or court order will determine whether your ex can take the children out of state without your consent. Ensure you understand what this document outlines so you know where you stand legally.
  • Communicate with Your Ex: If there are no restrictions in place regarding out-of-state travel, it’s important to communicate with your ex about their plans. Try to have an open and respectful conversation about your concerns and agree on how the vacation will be handled.
  • Seek Legal Advice: If you believe your ex is violating the terms of your custody agreement or court order, it’s important to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable family law attorney. They can help you understand your rights and take appropriate action to protect them. 

Emotional Considerations

If it is not in your custody plan that your ex cannot take the children out of state, it is normal to experience a range of emotions. You may feel worried, anxious, or even angry at the thought of your children being so far away without you. It’s important to remember that your ex has the right to spend time with their children and create memories together. Here are some tips for managing your emotions:

  • Focus on Your Child’s Well-being: While it can be challenging to see your child leave without you, remember that spending time with both parents benefits their well-being. Try to focus on the positive aspects of the trip and trust that your ex will take good care of them.
  • Keep Communication Open: Stay in touch with your child while they are away. This can help ease any anxieties and show your child that you are still involved and interested in their experiences. 
  • Take Care of Yourself: It’s important to prioritize self-care during this time. Studies have shown it can take up to two years to emotionally recover from a divorce, making co-parenting especially challenging. Make sure you are taking care of your own physical and mental well-being.

Navigate Co-Parenting Vacations With Confidence

Ultimately, whether your ex can take your children on vacation out of state without your permission will depend on the terms of your custody agreement or court order. Understanding these legal considerations and taking appropriate steps to protect your rights as a parent is essential. If you have any concerns or questions about your parental rights, don’t hesitate to contact our team at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins. We are dedicated to helping parents navigate the complexities of divorce and co-parenting.