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If you have children, there are certain things that you will need to get accustomed to after filing for divorce or separating from your spouse. One such change is when you will be traveling with children. Any travel that either you or your former spouse engages in with the children within the state is generally not an issue. The issue that arises for parents occurs when travel is either interstate or international.

If you are thinking about limiting your child’s travel with the other parent—do not-- as this is a mistake. Children are to share and enjoy their time with both parents. This may mean that during a school break there may be a trip to Disney Land or even out of the country. If there are no extenuating circumstances your children are permitted to go and should go. However, you are entitled to a full itinerary of the trip, including the flight information and where they are staying. Additionally, you are also able to have reasonable contact with them during the trip. Remember---reasonable is not to have them call you every hour. Perhaps a phone call when they land and when they are about to leave their vacation would be appropriate and depending on the length of stay once or twice during the week. In general—you cannot prohibit your former spouse from taking the children on a vacation outside of their home state.

If you are the parent taking the children away, be sensitive as how it will affect your ex-spouse, especially if it is the first time. When parties are able to co-parent then there will be less stress prior and after the trip. Most importantly, the children will benefit from the open communication between you and your ex-spouse. This will not only make the trip more enjoyable but will ease the way for future trips.

You and your ex-spouse should inform each other in a timely manner which will normally be designated in your agreement. If there is no agreement, then prior to booking your vacation discuss the itinerary with your ex-spouse I would also recommend that you be flexible with this notification provision. Remember, your children should be your first priority and their best interests should always be your number one concern. Always proceed with those principles in mind.

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