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Planning a spring break trip? Check your custody agreement first

Spring break is rapidly approaching, and it's important to sort out the details of child custody before embarking on a vacation. Extended school holidays are the ideal time to take a trip, but non-custodial parents need to be aware of any restrictions or limitations.

Review your custody agreement

Before formally planning a vacation, review your custody arrangement and make sure there are not any travel limitations in place. Some agreements prevent the parents from taking the child out of the state or country.

Although it may not be formally required in your custody agreement, it is best to get permission from the other parent, especially when taking the child out of the country. Doing so in writing and having both parents sign the document will help you avoid any issues.

Provide information

You should inform the other parent of where you are going and provide an itinerary if possible. Also, make sure to include information for how the child can be contacted, should the other parent want or need to get in touch.

In some instances, this may be as simple as informing your ex that you plan on taking your child to Disney World. However, some parenting plans may require you to give a more detailed plan and timeline, so it is important to know the specifics of your agreement.

Overlapping considerations

If your trip overlaps with the other parent's custody time you might have to adjust who has custody leading up to or following the vacation. Attempt to be flexible and keep your child's best interest at heart. If the other parent does not agree with the travel plans they can request an emergency hearing to prevent the travel from happening. In that case the judge might agree it is in the child's best interest not to go on vacation.

Pleasantries and considerate behavior go a long way. Your child's other parent will respond best to a polite request, particularly when the request is well in advance of the planned travel. The last thing you want is a court date instead of that trip you planned so carefully.

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Evans Family Law
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