Many parents want to take a fun family vacation during their children’s school breaks and around the holidays. However, if you’ve recently been divorced or separated, child custody agreements and parenting plans may conflict with your vacation plans. Before you book a vacation with your children, it is important that you understand how these agreements can impact your plans and how you can avoid any possible issues.
While there are many factors to consider when creating a child custody plan, it is critical to consider how vacations will be handled in your agreement. Many parents define how much vacation time each parent will get with their children, including whether vacation time or holidays will take precedence over regular parenting time. In Tennessee, both parties are allowed to spend vacation time with their children, but it cannot be for an extended amount of time. Each parent may spend time with their children on vacation within reasonable limits.
In addition, a child custody agreement should outline acceptable areas for travel and the amount of time a parent has for notifying the other parent of their vacation plans. Parents must decide on the provisions of in-state travel and out-of-state travel guidelines. Generally, out-of-state travel involves getting consent and notice from the other parent while in-state travel may only require notice.
For parents who share joint custody of the children, communication is key. A parent must notify the other parent about out-of-state travel arrangements. Under Tennessee law, parents who do not have primary residential custody are also entitled to the right to be notified if the other parent leaves the state for more than forty-eight hours. The notification should include an itinerary that lists departure and return dates, and information on the destination, transportation, and necessary phone numbers.
These conversations may involve decisions regarding travel activities and other rules that the parents must abide by before taking the children on a vacation. Parents may also discuss how they will communicate with the children on vacation and how they will notify their co-parent in case of emergency.
Vacations with your children can be a fun and exciting time. However, it is important to understand how your child custody and parenting agreements can potentially complicate your vacation. The lawyers at Yates & Wheland are here to help you understand your legal options and assist you in meeting your parenting goals. For more information about how child custody can impact your vacation time, contact our team today.