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Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Orlando Divorce Attorney
  • Experienced DIVORCE ATTORNEY

Going On an Out-of-State Vacation with the Child During the 2019 Holiday Season? Read This


Now that the 2019 holiday season is on the doorstep, many divorced and separated parents have plans to take their kids on vacation. Often, these plans involve traveling out of state or even abroad.

But these parents do not know what type of permission is necessary and whether taking their child out of state could be a potential violation of their child custody order.

If you want to take your child out of state or out of the country this holiday season, it is essential to consult with an Orlando child time-sharing attorney to minimize the risk of misunderstandings and disagreements with the other parent and avoid unnecessary and exhausting legal disputes with your former spouse or partner.

Contact Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee to discuss your concerns regarding traveling with your child out of state and its potential impact on your custody arrangements.

Can You Go On an Out-of-State Vacation With Your Child?

If you are planning to vacation with your children this holiday season, you will have to review the language of the Court Order concerning custody arrangements and vacations.

There may be a separate provision about vacationing with the children that applies to both parents regardless of whether you are a custodial or non-custodial parent.

More often than not, child custody arrangements include a clause about vacations that require parents with shared and primary/secondary custody to comply with limitations and notice requirements.

A Court Order may require a parent who is planning to vacation with a child out of state or in another country to give notice to and/or get permission from the other parent. If the other party refuses to allow the parent to take a child on vacation, the parties will have to settle the matter in the courtroom.

What if the Custody Order Has No Clause Regarding Vacations?

However, many child custody agreements lack a clause regarding vacations with the children.

If the Court Order has no clause regarding vacations, then you or the other parent can legally take the child on an out-of-state vacation. The only requirement is to return the child by the end of the agreed-upon custodial period.

Therefore, in cases when a parent only has the child for a day or a couple of days, an out-of-state vacation is virtually impossible. However, if both parents reach a consensus on the matter, the non-custodial parent may be allowed to take the child on an extended vacation.

If the non-custodial parent’s attempts to get the other parent’s approval of the extended vacation are futile, the parent could request a custody modification in the court asking for an extended time with the child during the holiday season.

Not all Court Orders have a clause about vacations with the child. Typically, the clause is included if one or both parents ask for it or if one parent fears that the other parent will take the child out of state or abroad and never come back.

However, when this happens, Florida’s family law allows a parent to file a contempt action in the court. When the contempt action is filed, the police will be notified to return the child.

If you are planning to vacation with your children, it is advised to consult with an Orlando child custody attorney at The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee to discover your options. Call at 407-521-7171 to schedule a free consultation.

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