You and your ex share custody of your children. Even though your marriage has ended, you still want to create lasting memories for your children by taking them on family vacations.
Do you need to ask your ex if you can do it before you make your plans?
Do You Have a Shared Parenting Agreement?
First and foremost, consult your shared parenting agreement, if you have one. You may already have agreed to legal rules regarding traveling with the children. Vacations and holidays are often addressed in advance since they can be complex and contentious to figure out at the moment.
Next, consult your parenting time schedule and your custody schedule to see when you officially have the children and when your ex will have them. You cannot take the kids on a vacation that is so long that it means you don’t return them to your ex the next time custody switches. This could be viewed as parental abduction and things could get very complicated. Do not violate any court orders.
That said, if you do have a custody schedule that makes your vacation difficult, talk to your ex. Co-parents are often well aware that they must be flexible. Your ex probably won’t take kindly to your just leaving without notice — and it may even be illegal — but they may be happy to let you extend your custody time to make the trip work.
Working Through Complex Parenting Situations
It’s no secret that co-parenting gets complicated, and this is just one way that it can do so. Working with an attorney can help you stay informed about your rights and ready to manage a serious custody complication when it arises.