With joint custody, can you travel out of state with your child?
Vacations or out-of-state travel with a child under joint custody can become somewhat tricky for the co-parents. After a divorce, it may not be so straightforward just to pick the kids and travel wherever you wish. While Florida laws do not deny a parent permission to travel with their child out of state, the child custody order in place provides the direction as to whether or not that is possible.
The custody agreement is usually based on the child’s best interests. For example, if you are not supposed to travel out of state for various reasons, it is likely detailed in the custody order. This is done to ensure that the child is safe and that both parents have an equal say regarding the child’s whereabouts.
Obtain permission from the other parent
Even if it is not explicitly stated in your custody orders that you need permission to travel with your child out of the state, it is necessary to inform the other parent and possibly seek permission to do so. Written consent is the best way to go about it since it may provide evidence should any issues arise. A travel consent letter should include the following:
- The person who will be traveling with the children
- The destination of travel
- The date of travel and the expected date of return
- How your co-parent can reach you, and any other necessary details that they may need.
If you need a court order to travel out of state with your kids, get one. Otherwise, you may be held in contempt of court and could even have your custody revoked. Furthermore, if you travel out of state with a child without the proper documentation, you may be charged with parental kidnapping or custodial interference.
When custody issues crop up, it helps to know more about your rights and your legal options.