From almost the moment your child was born, you were already planning the future. You knew just how much of an impact traveling had on your life, and you want to make sure that your child gets to experience it. It's been your dream to take them overseas for the summer to explore some of your favorite places in the world.
You're fortunate enough to run your own company and set your own hours. As such, your hope is to take your child when they're out of school for the summer and spend at least a month -- maybe two -- overseas. You have the time and money to do it.
There's just one problem: You got divorced. Your child is 12 now, and it feels like the perfect time to go, but you and your spouse split up two years ago. Life just got in the way. Can you still go on the trip you have been planning for so long, or is that dream now lost with your marriage?
The biggest thing to think about here is whether or not you can get consent from your ex. Are the two of you still on good terms? Do they want you to take the child on the trip?
Generally, you cannot leave with your child without that consent. If your ex doesn't want you to go, it's not going to happen. Doing so may qualify as an illegal act and even an abduction of your own child. That's not a path you want to travel.
The custody agreement
Of course, you may have thought about this when you got divorced and worked it into your child custody agreement. You can only travel in a way that is consistent with this agreement.
For instance, maybe the agreement says that you cannot leave the state without consent and that you get the child for one week, every other week. If so, traveling overseas for a month violates two provisions of the agreement and could lead to serious legal ramifications and the loss of custody rights.
However, if the agreement says that you get the child all summer long, during the break from school, and that you can travel anywhere that you see fit, then you can go if you'd like. It's still wise to talk to your ex, give them an itinerary and set up a solid plan so that they understand, but you shouldn't face any roadblocks.
If you do have to ask for consent, remember that you'll provide the details of the trip and get specific consent for that exact trip. You then have to stick to the agreement in order to do something outside of the bounds of the custody arrangement.
As you can see, it is very important to understand how to move forward and what steps to take. Never assume anything or make any mistakes that could impact your future custody rights.