3 Things to Consider if You’re a Divorced Parent Traveling with Your Kids This Summer

So you have finally gotten your vacation, planned the perfect getaway, and are ready to drive the RV or minivan around? Hold on one moment. Traveling with kids is quite different for divorced parents. There are people to consult, arrangements to make, schedules to follow, destinations to choose, lawsuits to avoid. In other words, lots of planning. Indeed, even a small mistake can end up ruining the whole experience for everyone. To this end, here are three important things to consider if you’re a divorced parent traveling with your kids this summer.

  1. You will need to show custodial control and proof of parentage

Whether you are traveling within or outside the country, you need to have certain documents that show proof of parentage (preferably a birth certificate), custodial control, and written consent from the other parent. Nothing is more distressing than planning an entire trip to Singapore, only to be told you don’t have permission to leave the country with your kids at the airport.

There are three different legal documents that can show a custodial arrangement: a separation agreement, a court order, or a consent order. A separation agreement is great if both of you can be able to come up with a schedule that works well for everyone. A court order comes into play when you are not able to reach a peaceful agreement, and a consent order is basically a hybrid of the two documents. It is similar to a separation agreement but enforced by a judge like a court order.   

  1. Do you have the proper travel documents?

Anyone traveling outside the country is required to have a valid passport, including children under the age of 18. If you have not arranged this already, you will have to communicate with your co-parent about your kids’ passports, as both of you need to be present during the application process. For this, you will need several documents, including proof of relationship to the child (can be a birth certificate, custody decree, or adoption decree), evidence of their citizenship (can be a valid birth or naturalization certificate), and so on.

  1. Travel-related activities  

When traveling with children, you want to be able to keep an eye on them while having fun at the same time. Juggling between the two can be challenging, especially if your kid is a toddler and the other parent is not around. A little planning ahead of time can go a long way. If you are traveling in your family car, carry as many games and movies as are tolerable. If you are flying, choose items that are less intrusive to other passengers. Toys and games, in particular, can be an excellent distraction for toddlers, who usually have short attention spans.

Addressing post-divorce travel issues in advance can save you a lot of time and legal fees in the future. Even if you are traveling within the country, it is advisable to consult with your co-parent and alert him/her of your plans. If you have questions concerning these and other family law issues in Colorado, Hulbert & Associates is here for you. Contact us anytime at (970) 458-8101.

Written by Lori Hulbert

Together the attorneys of the firm have nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships and conservatorships and civil litigation.