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Can you travel out of state while sharing custody?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2023 | Child Custody |

You just want to take a vacation with your children. However, you and your spouse got divorced a few years ago. You’re now sharing custody of these children with your ex. While you’re going to be taking the children on the vacation alone – and not with your ex – you certainly want to know if they still need to be involved in this process.

For example, say that you want to travel outside of Kentucky or maybe even outside of the United States. Are you allowed to do so or would that be a potential violation of your ex’s rights?

You generally need to get written permission first

The first thing to do is to review your formal custody order. In some cases, the order will specify if you can travel abroad or not. It’s very important to follow that order. There are sometimes ways to modify an order if it doesn’t fit with your lifestyle, but you will need to pursue a modification before you can act on terms that aren’t currently part of your order. Do not just travel with your children if the order prohibits it.

One of the best things you can do, if the order doesn’t strictly prohibit it, is to get written permission from your ex first. This is usually required in Kentucky. The court is going to want you to have permission from your ex, and you may even have to ask the court for permission. Once it is granted, then you can travel within the scope of the trip that you planned.

Why is this done?

Parents are sometimes frustrated by this process. They just want to be able to do whatever is on their schedule with their own children. They don’t like the court interfering with that, and they don’t want to have to ask their ex for permission to have a fun, family vacation. But the reason that this is done is because it helps to cut back on parental kidnapping. It’s also important that your ex knows where the children are in case something happens on the trip that requires both parents’ input.

This can certainly all become very contentious and complicated. If you have questions about the process, just contact our firm at 859-212-0995 to learn more.