*Limitations on Free Consultation- Free consultations are limited to one initial consultation per person. The Firm cannot guarantee it will consult with every possible client or evaluate every potential client’s matter. The consultation shall last no longer than 30 minutes and enable the Firm to understand the nature of a potential client’s matter and to inform the potential client if the Firm will consider representing the potential client in connection with the matter.

Can co-parents take their kids out of California on vacation?

Parents who have long enjoyed spending as much time as they want with their children may struggle while adjusting to shared custody arrangements. It can take some time to acclimate to going days without seeing children and having no input in their experiences while they are with their other parent. The relationships within the family often change a bit as everyone acclimates to a co-parenting arrangement.

Parents may start thinking of ways to bond and reconnect with their children after a difficult time during their divorce. Summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with children, as they do not have school to demand their attention. One or both parents who share custody may want to travel with the children. Is taking them out of the state an option when the parents are subject to a custody order?

Orders may include travel restrictions

In some cases, parents have established limits on travel in their custody orders or broader parenting plans. People sometimes include special terms limiting travel or requiring communication before any long-distance excursion with the children.

Maybe one parent has connections abroad. The parenting plan might prohibit international travel without written pre-approval from the other parents to protect against the possibility of child abduction. Parents may also have agreed to limit on how long either one travels with the children to avoid interrupting parenting time of the other.

Typically, simply traveling to another state, even one as far away as New York, is not a violation of standard custody rules in California unless there are special terms included in a custody order. Parents may have to accept a long-distance separation temporarily while the children travel with the other parent. Having plans in place to ensure ongoing communication could take some of the sting out of watching the children leave for a trip with a co-parent.

Those who know the rules that regulate different elements of child custody matters in California can better prepare for challenging family circumstances. Summer vacations can be an opportunity to bond, but they can also be an opportunity for parents to end up in conflict with one another over their custody arrangements if they don’t take proactive steps to safeguard their rights and clarify expectations.