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Do I Need My Ex’s Permission to Take My Child on Vacation?


One of the most commonly asked questions by a parent is whether they need their ex’s permission to take their child on vacation after a divorce. Like most issues that come up during and after a Florida divorce, the answer is that it depends. Where you want to take your child, for how long, and the terms of your parenting agreement typically dictate whether you need permission to take your child on vacation. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay, we understand how complicated this issue can be for our clients and are here to help. For advice on whether you need permission to take your child on vacation, call the office today.

Always Check the Parenting Agreement

The first thing that you should always do when an issue arises is to check your parenting agreement. Florida courts mandate that parents submit a parenting agreement during a divorce when a minor child is involved. In many cases, the parenting agreement will dictate when you do and do not need your former spouse’s permission to take your child on vacation. Parents with sole custody of their child do not need to ask before traveling; however, if the parenting agreement is silent as to vacations with your child, other provisions of the document may apply.

One of the most common provisions that may affect whether you need to ask for permission is the terms of your custody and visitation schedule. If the length of the vacation exceeds the limit of your custody, you will need to ask your ex for permission to alter the custody arrangement for this vacation. In addition, if the parenting agreement has limitations on taking your child out of state, you may need to ask for permission before going on a vacation that takes place outside of Florida.

International Vacations

If you are considering an international vacation with your child, you should absolutely talk with your attorney about whether you need permission from your former spouse before traveling. Failure to do so could ultimately lead to criminal charges of kidnapping or a request for a modification to the existing custody order by your former spouse. Do not risk criminal or civil penalties simply because you do not want to ask your spouse about taking a trip with your child.

It is also important to note that in many situations involving international vacations, both parents are required to take part in the process. Children under the age of sixteen cannot receive a passport unless both parents sign the necessary documentation, although children sixteen years old and older only need the signature of a single parent on their paperwork. And even if the paperwork is all in order, US Customs and Border Patrol recommends that a parent carry a note from the other parent that states that permission was granted for international travel with the child.

Talk to Our Office

If you would like to learn more about whether you need to ask for permission before taking your child on vacation, contact a Tampa family lawyer at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III now for an initial consultation.





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