Berman & Asbel, LLP

Can My Ex Take Our Children on a Vacation Without My Permission?

The answer depends on your answers to these questions:

1. Does your ex have custody of the children during those vacation days?

2. Is your ex taking the children out of state or out of the country?

3. Do you have specific language in your custody agreement about vacations?

Many child custody agreements require written consent from the other parent in order to travel with children out of state. However parents are permitted to take their children on vacations within Pennsylvania during the days they have custody. Some custody orders provide for adjustments to visitation and custody to account for longer vacations. Others do not.

Take a look at the language in your custody order. If your ex has violated that custody order or has indicated intent to violate the custody order, then you have options. But before taking your ex to court, consider first speaking with a lawyer.

What if I Want to Take My Kids on an Out of State Vacation?

Hopefully, your child custody agreement addressed vacation arrangements. But whether or not it did, life doesn't always happen the way we plan it. Things pop up and circumstances force us to change our plans and incorporate flexibility into our thinking.

The best scenario is to get your ex to agree, in writing, to the vacation. Plan your approach. Put together an itinerary and a plan for how your ex and children will communicate during the trip. Explain how the vacation will benefit your children, and that your willingness to bend will set the stage should your ex wish to take the children out of state in the future. Take steps to ensure your ex has equal time with the kids as would have been available if the vacation had not interfered. This may require a temporary adjustment to your visitation schedule.

If your spouse refuses permission for the vacation, then you can request an order from the court. Talk to a lawyer about the best way to handle this and what the next steps should be.

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