Thinking about holiday travel? Read your judgment carefully!
Many people travel to be with family during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, including Christmas.
Smart parents who are co-parenting with a former spouse or partner will be sure to review their judgment or other last final orders to confirm their duties relating to children. Many custody and parenting time provisions specific which parent has the child(ren) on what days and for how long.
Additional sections of the judgment or order(s) may address telephone or other electronic contact during the 'other' parent's time. Understanding what telephone contact between parent and child is required should be reviewed before travel or other plans are made that might make such contact impossible.
Parents should also be mindful of how holiday traveling could impact exchanges of children and take steps to offer alternative plans to their co-parents.
Holiday travel plans outside of the United States (even to Canada) may require a written agreement signed by both of the parents. Traveling internationally can be even more complicated. If your co-parent is unwilling to agree to such travel, permission from the Court would be required. It is essential to promptly raise these issues with legal counsel, as it can be extremely difficult to get in front of the Court near the Christmas and other winter holidays.
A lot of family law success doesn't happen in the courtroom, but in communication between the parties, and if necessary, their legal counsel. If you think your holiday plans may involve out-of-town travel, be sure to under your obligations as a co-parent.