When children are involved in a divorce, limits for travel are set within the guidelines of parenting time in the family’s custody order. Most custody orders require the non-custodial parent to consult with the custodial parent to get permission to travel out of state or the country. However, complications can arise when parents disagree about travel that involves their children and could interfere with parenting time.
Most Parenting Arrangements Require Permission
The parent wishing to travel out of state or internationally with a minor child usually needs to get the permission of the other parent. This applies to both joint custody and sole custody arrangements where the other parent is granted visitation. The court might impose conditions on travel for the sake of protecting the children. One requirement might be that written approval is needed from the other parent before taking children out of state or country.
Special Considerations for International Travel
Traveling internationally often requires more than written approval between the parents. Both parents are required to fill out and sign documents to obtain passports for their children. If a child is over 16 years of age, he or she can sign the documents by himself or herself. There could be additional accommodations required to ensure that the child will not be entering any locations that are age-restricted.
Complications Could Interfere with Obtaining Permission
Both parents should always take the needs and well-being of the child into consideration when requesting permission to travel. These factors should be considered when creating the parenting plan. However, circumstances could always change over the years.
There could be valid reasons why the other parent denies permission for out of state or international travel:
- Fear that the other parent will not return with the child
- Concerns over the safety of the child when with the other parent
- Time is needed to adjust to new home or school
- Child has activities, such as sports, part-time job or summer job
- Conflicts with holidays or scheduled parenting time
It could be possible that a parent with sole or primary custody outright refuses a request for travel with the other parent. If trying to work it out with the other parent fails, it may be necessary to consult with a family law attorney to determine if arrangements can be worked out with or without involving the court.