Orange County Child Custody: The Rules for Vacations

orange-county-child-custodyAs a parent who’s newly divorced, your children are at the top of your priority list. Amid the alimony discussions, property divisions, and court hearings, custody is likely where your heart lies. And a large part of those custody discussions will pertain to the holiday and vacation time allotted to you and your children.

Without a thorough marital agreement or your ex-spouse’s permission, taking your children on an out-of-state vacation may prove difficult. Get our tips for planning vacations with shared custody, and contact our offices to draft a marital agreement that incorporates vacation time with your children.


Orange County Child Custody & Vacation Time


Out-of-State Travel

If your Orange County custody case is still pending, can you travel out of state with your children? In California, the rule of thumb is to never vacation out of state without spousal permission if your custody case hasn’t yet been settled. If you can, get written permission from your ex-spouse and notarize the document. 

If your ex-spouse won’t grant permission to travel out of state, you’re not without options. You can still get permission from the court. The court will ask some clarifying questions, such as:

  • Can the vacation wait until after your case is resolved?
  • Do you plan on visiting family that the child is close with?
  • Is this vacation an annual occurrence that your children look forward to?

Given that your ex-spouse has refused to grant permission for an out-of-state vacation, these are some of the questions the court will consider. For the best outcome, enter the courtroom with prepared responses and evidence to back your claims.


Seeking Written Permission

Often, your child custody agreement or court order will specify vacation time, holiday custody, and whether parents can leave the state with their children. If your custody agreement allows it, you should be able to travel out-of-state or outside of the U.S. without notifying your ex-spouse. But even in these situations, we’d suggest getting written permission from the other parent to avoid potential conflicts down the line.

If vacation provisions aren’t included in your child custody agreement, then written permission is a must. Sometimes, a quick email or text will suffice. However, to best protect yourself, ensure that you’re specific about the timing, destination, and other details pertaining to your upcoming vacation. 


Avoid Conflict with a Child Custody Agreement

When it comes to your child custody and visitation provisions, it’s important to be proactive. Rather than taking each vacation as it comes, consider incorporating your holiday and vacation travel into your child custody agreement. 

These agreements don’t require a judge’s orders; with the help of an Orange County custody lawyer, you can reach an agreement that benefits you, your ex-spouse, and your children – without the input of a judge. At the end of the day, planning ahead and being communicative will nix any vacation-related custody conflicts. And if you need a hand in reaching a shared custody agreement, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens.


Prevent Vacation Conflicts with an Orange County Divorce Mediator

For legal help with your Orange County custody case, look no further. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction, so that they can finally move onto their next chapter. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation

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