Can You Take Your Child on Vacation After a Divorce?

Divorce is already a stressful and complicated process, and it can be even more challenging to navigate when children are involved. One of the most common questions during a divorce is whether or not you can take your child on vacation. The answer to this question is not always clear-cut, and several factors come into play. This blog post will discuss how to divide vacation time during a divorce and how to successfully and legally take your child on vacation after a divorce.  


Understanding How Vacation Time is Divided During a Divorce


Vacation time is generally included in the parenting plan that’s decided during the divorce proceedings. This plan typically outlines how vacation time is split between parents and the specific dates each parent is given. Most family courts consider each parent’s work schedule, the child’s school calendar, the distance between the parent’s homes, and many other factors before deciding the vacation schedule. Therefore, reviewing these details carefully is essential.


Discussing Vacation Plans With Your Ex-Spouse Beforehand


If you have not had a Court make an order regarding vacation time with your children, communicating effectively with your ex-spouse is crucial to ensure your vacation plans align with your parenting plan. Discuss your proposed vacation plans with your ex-partner and make sure they approve them. It’s best to communicate with them about the dates of the vacation, transportation arrangements, the destination, and any other plans or activities you have in mind so that they feel informed and involved. Doing so will help avoid potential conflicts and make the vacation experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.  Agreements made between the parties must be made into a written stipulation and sent to the Court to become a Court order.  If you fail to successfully complete these steps you may have no recourse if the other party refuses to abide by your vacation agreement.  It is always best to engage a family law attorney to prepare the stipulation and ensure the Court has made the agreement into a Court order. 


Tips for Planning a Successful Vacation After Your Divorce


Planning a successful vacation after a divorce can be challenging. Below are some tips that will help you plan a successful vacation:


  1. Choose a location that appeals to your child’s interests and hobbies.
  2. Give your child a sense of control by letting them pick some of the activities or meals.
  3. Keep an open line of communication with your child and listen to their concerns.
  4. Stick to your parenting plan as much as possible.
  5. Create a travel itinerary with your child so they feel involved.


Effects of Taking Your Child on Vacation Without Permission from the Other Parent


Taking your child on vacation without permission from the other parent can result in legal complications. It could violate the parenting plan, and your ex-partner could go to family court to change the terms of the agreement or hold you in contempt for violating the parenting plan Court order.


When to Seek Legal Guidance Regarding Vacations


If you’re planning a vacation with your child and have concerns about your ex-partner’s reaction or are unsure about the legality of it, you should seek legal guidance. A family law attorney will review your parenting plan and advise you on planning a vacation that meets the legal requirements without violating the existing agreement.


At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, our experienced family law attorneys are experts in California divorce and family law and can guide you on family law matters ranging from divorce, child custody, and visitation agreements to domestic violence. We provide personalized attention and advice to our clients and work towards achieving their goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and we’ll gladly assist you in any family law matter.

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