With Memorial Day approaching, it’s time to start thinking about barbeques, beach trips, and long family vacations…the last of which can get complicated when you are no longer with your child’s other parent.

(Mount Laurel)– Can a divorced or unmarried parent take a child on vacation with them even if they are not normally the physical custodial parent? Generally, the answer is “yes”—although it’s a “yes” with a whole bunch of conditions attached to it!

Taking a child out-of-state on vacation doesn’t usually need special approve from a family part judge as long as your co-parent is okay with it. Happily, most out-of-state vacations look like this: Dad wants to take the child for a week to Disney World, Mom is fine with it, and that’s the end of the issue. It is always important therefore to make your co-parent aware of your travel plans and intentions well in advance.

Sometimes a Property or Marital Settlement Agreement (or a custody order) will has special provisions for out-of-state travel. Usually, these provisions are in keeping with what we have already discussed and say that out-of-state travel is fine with prior approval and notice to the other parent. Sometimes an agreement or court order will say that day trips are fine (such as to Philadelphia), but overnight travel out of state will require prior approval. If you have such a provision in your divorce agreement or in your custody orders, you should certainly abide by whatever it is!

What if your co-parent won’t let you take the child out of New Jersey for a vacation? It’s important to ask your co-parent whether they are okay with you traveling out of state with the child well-in-advance in case your co-parent is being unreasonable about not letting you take the child on vacation.  In which you can file an application to get the court for permission to do so. It is important to find out of this is going to be necessary well in advance, as it takes about four weeks (if you are lucky!) to get a hearing date from the day you file.

Our specialties include Divorce and custody issues at Law Offices of Lynda Hinkle Don’t play it alone! Consults are FREE so call 856-227-7888 to discuss your legal options. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.