Co-parenting in Texas
Whatever your holiday travel plans include, it gets a bit more complicated when co-parents must agree upon a holiday schedule. Whether you decide to visit grandma and grandpa in the mountains or want to spend the holidays at the beach, it’s time to make those holiday plans with the children. These arrangements become more difficult when you add travel into the equation.
The holidays can be a magical time of year, but they can also be stressful. Divorced parents often have a custody agreement that states the holiday schedule. But holiday plans often change, and both parents must be willing to accommodate each other.
Holiday Travel Plans: Coming to an Agreement
If you have one, you must understand the ins and outs of your custody agreement. Many agreements often state that both parents must consent to out-of-state travel. Now is a good time to re-read the agreement and determine if one parent can travel with the children and where they can go.
As a divorce and family law firm, we encourage co-parents to set aside their differences and be flexible enough to allow their children to enjoy the holidays.
Some tips to help the parents get through the changing of holiday plans:
- Make plans early – let the other co-parent know of the hopes of traveling with the children during the holidays
- Be flexible – last year’s holiday plans may be completely different this year. Both parties must be flexible enough to allow other holiday plans and perhaps even holiday travel with the children
- Give details – It is common courtesy to give the other co-parent all the details of the holiday trip. Give details such as the travel dates, where you’re staying, who the children will be with, and any change of plans.
If you are newly separated, read our tips on how to have a “normal” holiday for your children.
What happens when one parent wants to take a vacation with the children that require them to leave the state? Out-of-state travel plans carry more restrictions than regular holiday travel.
Navigating Holiday Travel Plans: Traveling Out of State with the Children
Hopefully, parents can work out an alternative agreement if this holiday trip interferes with the regularly scheduled visiting time. Perhaps if one parent takes the child for a two-week vacation, they can forgo the next two visitations and allow the other parent ample time with the children. According to Custody Xchange, both parents should have equal vacation time.
One parent traveling out of state with the children usually requires consent. Not obtaining consent could result in legal problems for you and cause adverse changes to your custody agreement. Also, check and see if additional documentation is needed to travel out of state with the children. In some cases, both parents must agree to specific information in writing.
Once both parents agree upon the holiday travel schedule, we recommend carrying a notarized written consent from the other parent at all times when you take your child out of state. This way, there is never a question if the child is in the proper custody.
When Parent’s Disagree on Holiday Travel Plans
Sometimes, co-parents cannot agree on holiday travel plans with the children. This is common in high-conflict situations where the parents cannot agree on very much. It is unfortunate when parents use their children to hurt the other adult.
If you have trouble with a non-agreeable co-parent fighting you on the custody agreement and travel plans, seek legal advice from an established Texas family law attorney. Our divorce and family law attorneys can help you navigate this problem, and if necessary, can ask the courts to step in and resolve the issue.
While you may not have all the flexibility to pick up and go with your children whenever you like, there are still opportunities for you to enjoy holiday travel. Again, make your plans early, be flexible, and give all travel details to the other parent.