Parenting Time and Travel-Ensuring your trip goes smoothly

I want to take the kids to an internationally acclaimed amusement park in Ohio but my ex says that if I cross state lines with the kids, that’s parental kidnapping and he’ll call the police on me. Can I take the kids to Ohio?

It’s important for many parents to share their love of travel and their favorite places with their children. When there is a judgment or order for parenting time, the parents need to follow the terms of that order. Each family’s order will look a little different. This post will discuss generalities in Michigan law but if you have a parenting time order, that order controls. You can ask the court to change it if you want it to say something different. If you would like us to review your order and give you specific legal advice on what you can or cannot do, please click here and we’ll set up a time to discuss your case.

Every parenting time order in Michigan is required to contain language barring certain INTERNATIONAL travel. The order prohibits parents from exercising parenting time in a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction unless both parents provide the court with written consent to allow a parent to exercise parenting time in a non-Hague country. If you plan on traveling internationally with you child, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney to make sure that the travel is allowed and that you have the documents necessary to cross the border.

There is no state-wide ban on taking a child across state lines during a parenting time. Again, an individual parenting order may ban travel to other states. If a parenting time order does not address where in the United States parenting time may occur, the parent who has parenting time can take the child to another state without getting the other parent’s permission. However, if one parent wants to take the child to another state on the other parent’s parenting time, then they do need to discuss that and get the other parent’s permission to have the child during that time. So, if Dad has parenting time for the first two weeks of July and wants to take the kids on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, he can do so if his parenting time order does not bar interstate travel. If Mom wants to take the kids to their aunt’s wedding or a family member’s funeral on Dad’s parenting time, and Dad does not agree, Mom can file a motion and ask the court to allow the trip.

It’s a good idea to discuss the trip with your co-parent and provide a loose itinerary and the places that you’ll be staying. That’s how most parents would want to be treated.

Do you need help making sure your travel plans don’t get you into hot water with the Court or your co-parent? Click here and we’ll set up a time to discuss your issue.

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