Summer is almost upon us and that summer trips. Especially if you have kids. They’re ready for a break from school and raring to see something new and, of course, take cool selfies their friends can like. You’ve prepped for all of this, you’ve booked plane tickets and hotels and scoped out cool attractions for your kids’ Instagrams.
But, if you’re a divorced or separated parent, have you checked the agreement governing timesharing and decision making for your kids? Is there a section regarding travel? If there’s not, and it’s silent on travel, you’re probably free to travel with the kids as you’d like though, for the purposes of courtesy and safety you might want to alert the other parent to where you’re going and where you’ll be staying, especially if you’ll be interrupting their time-sharing. The last thing you want is for your vacation to be abruptly cancelled because the other parent is triggered by you not letting them know you’re taking the kids out of town or out of the country.
If your agreement does have a section on travel, it might require you to give the other parent notice. It might also require you to get the other parent’s consent before traveling out of the country, state, or even the county. Check your agreement well ahead of time to give yourself enough leeway to schedule a court hearing in case the other parent will not consent to travel.
Plan ahead so you have ample time to obtain a passport for your minor child. Both parents must sign the passport application for a minor child if both parents are listed on the birth certificate, even if paternity has not been established. If you know that the other parent, whether mother or father, will not consent or cannot be found to consent, you can get a court order allowing you to proceed with one signature. Give yourself enough time before your trip to be able to obtain a court order. Scheduling a hearing can sometimes take sixty days or more.
At Jarbath Peña Law Group, we have helped parents obtain passports when the other parent is unresponsive or uncooperative. We also help parents from the get go to have all their bases covered in their agreements, including travel. Call us to find out your options! We would love to help!