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Be careful not to travel into child custody problems on vacation

If you're one of many New York parents who recently divorced, you've likely undergone changes in most aspects of life. Going from living as a married couple with children to a single-parent household, or even living alone and seeing your children according to a court-documented schedule, can be quite a challenging adjustment. Hopefully, you have a strong support network to help you and your kids move forward to a new and happy future. Change is often difficult, but not always a bad thing.

Most people in your situation find that developing a new parenting plan is one of the greatest challenges in the divorce process. If you and your former spouse get along well, and are both willing to compromise and cooperate as necessary where your children are concerned, negotiating child custody and visitation plans might not be all that difficult. However, many divorced couples struggle with amicable communication and run into major roll around.

Spontaneity is somewhat limited in divorce

While you don't normally have to tell your children's other parent every single thing you and the kids plan to do in a given day, when it comes to traveling, it may no longer be possible to just "get up and go" on a whim. Here's why:   

  • There are usually statutory provisions in place to protect children's best interests with regard to traveling with a parent after divorce.   
  • While spouses who divorce are no longer obligated toward one another as they were in marriage, the fact that they co-parent means each one still has rights concerning their children, and those rights must be protected at all times.   
  • There may be an existing court order that limits geographical location when one or the other parent is traveling with children after divorce.
  • In many cases, a child can not be removed from the court's jurisdiction (out of state) without written agreement from the other parent, as well as court approval.
  • If you plan to take your children on vacation, it's typically required that you make sure they have a way to stay in contact with their other parent. You may also need to provide your former spouse with an itinerary showing plans for the children's whereabouts while you're away.

As you can see, divorce and child custody regulations might make it difficult to suddenly decide to take a trip to the beach or go visit Europe for the first time. However, being divorced doesn't necessarily mean you can't continue to enjoy taking vacations with your children. You can seek immediate assistance for any parenting plan problem that surfaces.

The best way to avoid child custody and visitation problems during summer vacation (and all year, for that matter) is to research laws ahead of time and have experienced guidance on-hand in case a problem arises. A family law attorney is an excellent support option.

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