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    Can My Ex-Spouse Keep Me From Taking the Kids on a Summer Vacation?

    At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles family law attorneys know there are countless details couples with children face when they are going through a California divorce. First and foremost is the child custody agreement, or court order in some cases, that includes a parenting plan explaining where the child will reside, and how he or she will split their time between each home.

    Because everyone’s life is impacted by the transition, each member of the family must fall into a new routine. This includes outlining who is responsible for the child’s daily activities, but it also includes special occasions, like holidays and vacations.

    Vacations are excellent opportunities for parents to bond with their children, and summer usually provides time away from both work and school for everyone to enjoy time away without interfering with their other important responsibilities.

    In most cases, both parents are encouraged to enjoy reasonable vacation time with their children throughout the year. However, some parents simply do not see it that way, and apply significant resistance when the other parent plans a getaway.

    The question becomes, can your kid’s other parent stop you from taking them on vacation? The answer, as is true with most family law matters is, it depends.

    Here is what vacationing parents in California need to know before they hit the road.

    Your California Child Custody Agreement Should Hold the Answers to Your Vacation Questions

    Our experienced child custody attorneys in Los Angeles, California encourage our clients to outline their child custody and parenting plan agreements simultaneously, so each detail is covered in the legally binding document.

    When they do, complete schedules, including weekdays and weekends, summer, winter, and spring break schedules, and holidays, vacations, and birthdays are included in an agreed-upon schedule.

    If your child custody and parenting plan agreement or order allows you to have the children for multiple days (or even weeks) over the summer, that language should say whether you are allowed to travel with your children, when, how far, and for how long.

    If no such language exists in your custody agreement or parenting plan, a parent is generally allowed to travel with his/her children for as long as they have custody.

    For example, if a parent without primary custody is allowed to keep the kids for multiple days at a time, he or she is free to use those days for travel, if the children are returned on time to the primary parent.

    What if Vacations Were Not Covered in Our California Child Custody Agreement?

    Ideally, it is always desirable to have the other parent’s permission before taking a trip with your children, even if the vacation occurs during your allotted custody time. If the other parent is saying no, just to say no, we can help you file a motion in family court seeking the court’s permission for the trip. If the motion is granted and you leave for vacation with your kids, the other parent cannot claim that you are in contempt of the child custody order.

    Contact Our Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys at the Land Legal Group Today

    If you have questions about what is and is not permitted during your time with the children after a divorce, contact our team of skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group by calling (310) 552-3500 today.

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