When you don’t get to be with your children every day, you want to make the most of the time you do have with them. Planning a vacation during their spring break or summer vacation from school can be a way to maximize the time that you spend together.
However, if your plans include leaving the state to go to a popular theme park or even traveling abroad to visit family, your ex may not be enthusiastic about your itinerary. In fact, they may try to stop you from taking the trip that you want.
Can your ex stop you from traveling out of Texas or out of the United States with your children if you share custody?
Your travel rights depend on your parenting plan
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when divorcing in Texas is the failure to address their future plans in their custody order or parenting plan. Ideally, you can include rules in your plan that uphold your right to travel with the children, possibly with some minor restrictions.
For example, if you hope to travel with your children after the divorce, making sure that your parenting plan will allow you to travel the way that you want is a good move. Otherwise, you may have to go to court to ask for a custody modification or possibly face your ex pushing back against your plans.
If you are still in the early stages of divorce, you can protect your future travel wishes by including language in the parenting plan that gives you certain travel rights. Limiting how far you can go or how long you can stay are common restrictions that might help make your ex more comfortable with including those terms.
What if your divorce is already over?
If you have already finalized your divorce and have a parenting plan that does not address out-of-state or international travel, you may need to go back to court and ask for modification. Adjusting the parenting plan to include provisions that allow you to travel or at least formally pursuing permission for the trip will help protect you from claims of custody violations or parental kidnapping brought by a vindictive ex.
It is usually easier to make a solid parenting plan than it is to adjust one that doesn’t quite fit your needs. Getting help with drafting your parenting plan can ensure you don’t overlook crucial considerations like future travel. You may also require professional support if you intend to go to the courts to ask for modification.