No matter the reason for your divorce, one thing typically proves to be a constant: both parties involved want the best for the children of the marriage.
While adults are accustomed to traveling wherever they want at any time, the situation becomes very different when it comes to the matter of whether a child of a divorce may be brought across state lines. Depending on what kind of custody you and your spouse are planning on sharing, you may have to notify or ask the other parent for permission before bringing the child across state lines.
This requirement can result in tension between two parents, especially when both feel entitled to fulfilment of the best interests of the child. Regardless of what stage of divorce you are in, you’ll want to know how to avoid problems regarding the child’s travel before it happens.
Make Things Clear Upfront in the Parenting Plan
Parenting plans are documents that are filed with the court in divorce proceedings to ensure that the best interests of the child or children of the marriage are met. A well-established and organized parenting plan that both parties are comfortable with is the first step toward ensuring that your child’s post-divorce life is consistent, cordial, and fair to all the parties involved.
The state of Colorado requires that a parenting plan is filed with the court and approved by a judge. Parenting plans may be filed in several different ways. Arguably, the best method is for you and the child’s other parent are able to come together regarding an agreement as to the aspects contained in the parenting plan. If both parties can agree to every term of the parenting plan, a joint parenting plan may be submitted to the court for approval. Otherwise, if the parents of the child do not agree, each party may file individual parenting plans for approval.
Whether you are working together with your spouse to draft a joint parenting plan or whether you are drafting an independent parenting plan, you should be prepared to be candid and open with your ex regarding your interests as far as the parenting plan. It is important to keep in mind that the parenting plan is in place to ensure the best interests of the child are met, but be clear about your parameters, concerns, and limitations as far as allowing the child to travel, be in the care of the other parent, and more.
It’s natural that both parents will want to spend time with their children in the event of a divorce. In many cases, spending time with a child (or raising a child, in general) will require that the child is taken out of state for certain periods of time. Whether it is for a weekend or two-weeks, children can really benefit from being with parents in the case of vacations, family trips, and sometimes even emergencies that require travel.
Keep in mind that things come up, whether the situation is for fun or for necessity. If a child must travel across state lines with another parent on short notice, consider keeping in touch with the parent through text message or telephone throughout the duration.
Keep Up Persistent Communication
Following your divorce, it’s more than likely that you and your ex-spouse will have to communicate regarding your child’s schedule, health, and daily activities. While it can be complicated and stressful to keep in touch with your ex, it’s important that your child’s care comes first regardless of the complexities.
Specifically, in the case of joint custody, you and the other parent will have to constantly communicate regarding the location of the child and plans for their transportation. Until the child becomes an adult, be sure that you and your spouse have a good form of communication- preferably written- that ensures that the needs of the parenting plan are being met.
There are many things to consider when it comes to the needs of a child following a divorce. Travel, unfortunately, is just one of them. If you are considering a divorce and are seeking guidance regarding your parenting plan or any other aspect of the arrangement, contact our family law specialists to schedule a consultation.
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