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Can you take the kids out of the state for a summer trip?

by | May 24, 2021 | Family Law |

It can be difficult to share custody with your ex-spouse after a Pennsylvania divorce.  Needing to see the ex-spouse several times a week may stress you out, and you may worry about the effect the divorce has on your children.

Trying to get away for a bit to relax and bond with the children is a natural reflex in the aftermath of a divorce.  As a Pennsylvania parent with shared custody, can you pack the kids up and drive across state lines to hit the seashore for a vacation during your normal parenting time?

Your parenting plan likely limits your interstate travel

Shared custody solutions often focus on supporting the rights of both parents.  It is common for the judge to include terms in the custody order that limit the geographic distance you can travel or that restrict traveling out of state.

Such restrictions help prevent your vacation plans from infringing on your ex-spouse’s parenting time and also help reduce the risk of parental abduction after a divorce.  If your parenting plan doesn’t explicitly authorize out-of-state travel, you may want to discuss your wishes with your ex-spouse.

Get permission from your ex-spouse and even the courts if you need to

If you share your exact itinerary with your ex-spouse, they may enthusiastically support your taking a trip with the children.  If they do, having them agree in writing to your travel can help protect you.

Even if they do agree, you may still want to go to the Pennsylvania family courts to inform them of your travel plans.  A modification authorizing the travel may require a hearing.  However, it will help ensure that your trip doesn’t impact your future parenting rights.  Talking about your travel wishes and reviewing your custody order with your attorney can help you determine the next step to take.


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