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Child custody and planning a vacation

With the school year quickly coming to an end, many parents have turned their attention to the late spring and summer months. If you're divorced and interested in planning a vacation with your children, there are several key steps you can take to prevent trouble.

There are two things to consider upfront:

  • Your parenting and custody agreement
  • The inclusion of the other parent

For example, if you're not permitted to travel out of state with your children, you shouldn't plan a vacation that violates this order.

Also, it's important to include the other parent in your plans, so that they know exactly what you're doing. Planning a trip without their knowledge can backfire when they finally find out.

Here are several tips you can follow to ease the stress of the planning process and improve the likelihood of an enjoyable trip:

  • Settle on a schedule and stick to it: Once you have a vacation schedule in place, share it with your ex, get their permission and then stick to it. Making too many changes will complicate things.
  • Give proper notice: The sooner you talk to your ex about your vacation plans the less likely it is that you'll face trouble. Provide as much notice as possible, along with any details that you already have in place.
  • Have a plan for exchanging custody: In addition to doing this in a safe place, discuss any final details at this time. You want to make your ex as comfortable as possible with your plans.
  • Don't cut off communication: Encourage your children to communicate with their other parent during the trip. Also, if necessary, you shouldn't hesitate to communicate with your ex. This can help put their mind at ease.

Many parents wait all year to take a vacation with their children. Unfortunately, if you're divorced this can result in a variety of questions and challenges.

Once you have some basic plans in place, you can rely on the advice above to move you in the right direction. If your ex fights back for any reason, review your parenting plan again and learn more about your legal rights in California. You don't want to miss out on a vacation because your ex is being unreasonable.

Visit our website for more information on child custody and other family law matters.

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