Divorce complicates just about every aspect of parenting, and vacation planning is no different. If you want to take your child on an international holiday, there are a few considerations you should make first.
Though your parenting plan should outline the rules regarding international travel, it may not cover every last detail. If you and your spouse never travelled abroad together, it may not cover international travel at all. TravelDailyNews.com covers everything you need to know in both situations.
Parenting plan prevails
Before you get too involved in the travel planning, refer to your parenting agreement. In the event the judge awarded you sole physical and legal custody, you do not have to seek the other parent’s permission for any matters pertaining to the child. However, such custody situations are rare these days, and it is likely you and your former spouse share equal custodial rights.
If you and the other party have equal rights, continue to flip through your agreement until you come to the section regarding travel (if you had the forethought to include one). Does the section contain specific information about when you each may take the child out of country? Does it include stipulations, such as to give the other parent a six-months’ advance notice of international holiday plans? Did you come up with blackout dates, such as no travel over Christmas, Easter, the child’s birthday, etc.? A well-thought-out and carefully crafted parenting agreement can save you significant headache in the future.
Documentation and permissions
Even with a thorough parenting plan in place, you still need to ensure your child has the proper documentation. Often, obtaining that documentation requires both parents’ signatures. Your child will need a passport to travel abroad. If he or she is younger than 16, obtaining a passport will require permission from both legal parents. If the other parent does not want your child accompanying you overseas, you may have trouble obtaining consent.
If your child can travel with you, you should be courteous of the other parent’s concerns and provide detailed travel plans. The itinerary should outline your route and travel schedule, include a list of individuals with whom you plan to travel or stay, specify the names of the towns and hotels in which you plan to stay and provide all the necessary contact information. It should also detail the nature of the trip and be made available to the other parent.