Summer vacation – a time for fun in the sun, relaxation and trips with the family but potential disagreements may arise among co-parents with regards to travel. What should parents do when they disagree in this situation?
Review the Parenting Agreement
Many parents incorporate a vacation and travel provision in their parenting agreement if one is already in place. Before a divorced parent decides to travel with their child, they should check their parenting agreement to see what it says about travel and vacation time with their child.
If the travel plans contradict the parenting agreement, it is important to talk to the other parent as soon as possible and try to come to an agreement about the vacation.
Talk with the Other Parent
Being able to handle potential disagreements through discussion is an important aspect of co-parenting. The best way to handle wanting to travel with a child is by having a discussion with the co-parent. Explain all plans and express concerns during this discussion to ensure both parents are on the same page about the vacation. The issue may be able to be resolved by agreeing to let the child go with the other parent on a vacation at a later date, or making up the time later on in the year.
During this discussion, it is also a good idea to set expectations for the exchange of itineraries beforehand and means of communication during the proposed trip to ensure the children can maintain contact with both parents.
Before resorting to litigation, parents may consider attending mediation with their co-parent and a certified mediator to try to reach a compromise that meets both of their needs and interests. This can be a cost- and time-effective alternative to litigation.
At times, mediation may actually be required by your parenting agreement, so it is important to review your agreement for a mediation clause as well.
Go to Court
If the discussion about travel plans with the co-parent fails, bringing up the issue in court is an option. Parents can petition the court for vacation time with their child or petition the court to take their child on vacation.
Parents should bear in mind that litigation can be a slow process, so it is best to plan ahead and consult with an attorney about the timeline for filing a petition and having it heard by a court.
If you want to travel with your child but you foresee issues with your co-parent, Kogut & Wilson attorneys and mediators can you make the best decision for you and your child.
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