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Child custody and out-of-state travel

When parents divorce, they are faced with many changes and difficulties. Of course this means working through the process and developing a workable child custody arrangement. It also means taking the necessary steps to make the resulting custody agreement work. Whether you have just finalized a divorce or have been divorced for several years, divorced parents are likely to encounter various post-divorce custody issues and disputes.

Travel can be one of those post-divorce disputes. It is very common for parents to want to take their child or children on a trip, and many of these trips mean taking them out of state. While parents are allowed to take their children on trips and travel out of state, it is important to ensure that these trips are consistent with and meet the requirements set our by the custody order.

If parents agree that a child may travel out of state with one of the parents, this agreement must be consistent with the terms set out in the custody order. Whether a custody order specifically permits this travel or is silent on it, a written consent is likely needed. This written consent provided by one parent is sufficient enough to allow the other parent to travel out of state with the child.

In some cases, court approval might be necessary. This means obtaining the specific order before any trip is taken. In these matters, the court is focused on the welfare of the child as well as the fact that this journey will remove the minor child from the jurisdiction and authority of the court. Most judges do not take this matter lightly and it could take some time to achieve approval.

Child custody matters can come up during and after divorce. Because of that, parents need to be prepared to resolve these matters. Focusing on the best interests of the child is always necessary; however, parents need to understand their rights and options when it comes to navigating through these custody issues.

Source: Livestrong.com, "The Child Custody Laws Relating to Travelling to Another State With Written Consent," Mike Broemmel, June 13, 2017

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