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Can you travel with your child if you share custody?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Child-Related Matters

When considering traveling with your child under a shared custody agreement, it helps to understand the legal parameters to avoid getting into trouble with the law. A short trip might not raise significant concerns, but the prospects of a long journey may present some challenges.

Remember, your co-parent may have custody or visitation rights, and a long trip with the child could interfere with their parental rights. Doing things without careful thought and consideration may come back to haunt you.

Navigating travel restrictions

Joint custody implies shared decision-making, including travel arrangements, which necessitates communication and adherence to stipulated guidelines. Therefore, it’s best to refer to your custody agreement to be on the safe side.

In most cases, the terms of your custody agreement will outline travel restrictions and specify permissible distance or geographical limitations. It may also detail what you must do beforehand, like notifying your co-parent within a specific timeframe or seeking their permission. Understanding such constraints and obligations is essential when planning a lengthy trip.

Open communication with your co-parent helps

Transparency about travel plans, duration and purpose goes a long way in securing consent and ensuring a smooth journey. Have an open discussion with your co-parent well in advance of your travel plans to mitigate conflict and foster goodwill. It can help avoid unnecessary misunderstandings or opposition.

Do everything by the book

It’s crucial to adhere to custody orders diligently to avoid unintended violations that might lead to legal repercussions or being held in contempt of court. When in doubt, seek legal guidance to clarify ambiguities, offer insights and ensure your travel plans align with the terms of your shared custody agreement.