Talk about travel and custody options before summer break
Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes some potential issues. If your ex-spouse is working out of town or wants to take your children on vacation, do you know what you’ll do? Do you have an agreement in place if you want to take your kids on a road trip or to fly internationally to see family or friends?
If you haven’t yet talked about traveling with your kids within and outside the United States, now is a good time to do it. This is particularly pertinent for military families when one parent may move around often, since your children may need to fly or travel in other ways to see their parent at bases around or outside the U.S.
What should you set as ground rules for traveling after divorce?
What you decide to set as ground rules for child custody will depend on:
- If you trust the other parent to return your children to you on time
- If your children are old enough to travel alone or with a guardian
- The methods of communication you currently use
- Your current custody schedule
- Any history of family violence
- Your or the other parent’s job
As well as other factors that may influence if and when your children can travel.
To get started with this conversation, it’s important for both you and the other parent to discuss if you’re comfortable with your children leaving their home state or traveling abroad with one parent alone. If not, or if they are too young to do this alone, you may want to set up arrangements for you or your ex-spouse to travel to your children rather than sending your children back and forth.
If you’re not comfortable with your children leaving their primary residence for trips out of state or the country, communicate that to the other parent clearly and give your reasons. Hear them out, too, because they may have concerns that you hadn’t thought about. You and your ex-spouse should be on the same page. If you’re not, or if you can’t agree, it’s possible to take this issue to court to allow a judge to rule on it.