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Post-divorce traveling with the kids? Check your custody order

Travel plans can be exciting for the whole family, and you may enjoy providing your young ones with memorable experiences. Perhaps you have plans to present your kids with a wonderful adventure in the form of a trip during their school's holiday break.

However, if you are divorced from the children's other parent, you would be wise to postpone making any definite plans until you have reviewed your custody order. Unless your court order grants you custody during the entire holiday and permits you to travel with the children beyond a certain distance, you may have some negotiating to do.

Plan ahead

You may have trips planned outside of Texas or even overseas. Unfortunately, many custody orders have restrictions on how far away from the other parent you may travel with the children. If you have not discussed your plans with your ex, you may still have time to obtain written consent to make your trip.

It is never a wise idea to purchase plane tickets, make hotel reservations, or promise the kids a trip before consulting with your co-parenting partner. You cannot guarantee that your ex will agree to letting you take the kids away just because you have reservations. Instead, approach your ex with a plan. For example, if your trip in any way may interfere with your ex's periods of possession or custody, suggest a trade or an extended parenting time for your ex when you return to make up for that other parent’s missed time with the children.

Working it out

On the other hand, you may find that your ex has already made plans with the children for his or her own periods of parenting time. If your ex is unwilling to negotiate a trade, you may have to accept this and make plans in advance for next year. The last thing you should do is to try to take the children away in defiance of your Court orders and your ex’s objections. This could lead to serious disputes and perhaps even place your current custody privileges in jeopardy.

However, if your ex consents to your travel plans, it is wise not to accept a verbal agreement. If your ex has a change of heart, you may end up with no proof that an agreement ever existed. You can obtain help with any custody issues or disputes by consulting an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney working in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County and surrounding areas of Texas, who can advise you on your legal options, and who can advocate for your parental rights.

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