Can the other party refuse to let the child go on vacation if they have joint custody? 36 Answers as of June 26, 2013

My husband and I would like to take his daughter on vacation in November for a family birthday celebration. He asked his ex-wife if there were any scheduling conflicts with this and she said she would not allow her to come. They share joint custody. Does she have the right to do that?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
The parenting plan should govern the visitation. It is a court order.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
You did not define the "joint custody." Is it legal or physical? What does their custody schedule dictate for that time period for the vacation? How old is the child? There are many factors that must be weighed.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/22/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
No, unless she can point to some specific language in their agreement that prevents it. If he thinks she'll interfere with it, he can file a motion to obtain a court order for it and ask for fees/costs to bring the motion.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/20/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
It depends on who the Court determined has the final decision making authority regarding travel.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/19/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
He would have to review his divorce agreement first to determine what vacation/special occasion rights he may have. It may require resort to court to force the issue if the agreement does not spell it out.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/19/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    The answer is in the Custody papers. The custody papers say what times your husband has superior rights to possession and if the celebration falls on that date, Mom has no choice. If the date falls on a date that is in Mom's period of possession, she can deny the extra access - I warn clients all the time that while this may be a right, what goes around comes around and there will be a time when she needs a concession too - refuse one now and your husband can and will pay her back by refusing one later.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If the proposed vacation parenting time interferes with an existing custody and parenting time order, there must be an agreement of the parties to modify that schedule or you must seek a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    What does the custody order say about visitation?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Depends on the court orders for access. He can go to court to ask for a modification or contempt depending on the orders.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    Yes, she does have the right to do that if there are orders which prevent the parties from removing the child from the state. However Courts expect that the parties will work together to accommodate each other and allow the children to participate in family activities. If his ex-wife will not allow the children to attend the party, your husband should contact an attorney to petition the courts for an order that the children be allowed to travel with you and your husband.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    No, as long as it is during the parent time unless your divorce decree states otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    That depends on what the custodial/visitation agreement or order, and parenting plan say, and since you chose not to tell us that, no one here can possibly answer. The answer is in those documents.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The answer to your question requires a careful examination of the currently applicable court order and parenting time plan. Since Colo no longer uses the term "joint custody" it isn't possible to know what you mean by the term or what it means as to each parent's decision-making authority. By itself, the term joint custody (or, the current term, "mutual decision-making responsibility) doesn't answer the question. When the child is with her father as provided by a court order, he should be free to take her anywhere on a vacation unless the court ordered plan prohibits him from doing so. If the parenting time schedule doesn't afford him enough time to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it, then mother effectively has veto power if she won't agree to a one-time modification of the parenting time plan. The father's remedy is to seek modification of the parenting time schedule so that he is permitted to take the child on extended vacations on reasonable terms.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    All custody and visitation orders must be followed. Without more information regarding the order, it is impossible for me to give you more information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    It depends on the terms of their parenting time orders. If he is permitted to take vacation upon appropriate notice, then she cannot legally refuse. If he is required to get her consent before taking a vacation and she refuses to consent, then he may need to ask the court for permission to take the vacation.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    The answer depends on the terms of the existing orders. There are two types of custody. 1. Joint Legal Custody means BOTH parents can decide the health, safety, and welfare decisions. 2. Joint Physical Custody does NOT require joint decisions, but the time periods with each parent are, or should be clearly identified. There should be a custodial time Order form the court dictating when the child(ren) are to be with each parent. When the court orders one parent a particular time period, then the other parent may not interfere with what happens during that time period (absent an order to the contrary). In a deadlock like this, an application to the court is necessary to resolve the issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    What is your vacation schedule in your court order? Does your husband have the holiday? If not, better file an OSC now to ensure that he gets the vacation time requested.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    Both parents may want to look at the terms of the Child Custody Agreement, if they have one. If not, then this may need to be decided by a judge who will hear both sides and decide what is in the best interests of the children. This is a situation where the parents may be better off finding a mediator to help them through this (much quicker and cheaper for everyone).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If he has court-ordered parenting time with the child during your vacation, then she shouldn't be able to interfere with that. If he does not have court-ordered parenting time, then it would likely be at the mother's discretion. You need to bring the divorce decree to a family lawyer for review as your question didn't provide sufficient information to answer the question.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington, the rights of the parents are prescribed in their parenting plan.If there is no parenting plan, they have equal rights and no one can stop anyone from doing anything without a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Depends what the orders say. Often they give each parent the right to a certain amount of vacation with notice in writing. If it isn't in the paperwork and the other parent won't agree, the person can petition the court for permission.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You will have to make an application to the Court to resolve this problem. You will have to apply soon so that the motion to the Court can be heard prior to your need to make reservations.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Normally any kind of family vacation is encompassed in the idea of "reasonable visitation," but if the parties have a disagreement they may have to go to court to enforce their rights. It would be important for your husband to file early with a court if this is very important, in order to make sure he could get relief timely to make his visit. It may be that the mother will acquiesce if she is informed he will take court action to enforce his rights.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    If it infringes on her timesharing and there is no provision in the Final Judgment or settlement agreement, then she can do that. I do hope she realizes what comes around goes around. Look at the court paperwork again. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    It depends. Your husband will need to have a family law attorney review the Separation Agreement and any Modifications in order to determine whether he has the right to take her on vacation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    To give a correct answer to this question requires a careful review of the existing parenting plan. If father had an order allowing for this visitation, then mother has no right to object. If there is no mention of this trip in an existing order, then the best solution is to return to court to get the court to issue orders allowing for the visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Rhonda Ellifritz | Rhonda Ellifritz
    It really depends on what the custody agreement says. If you are trying to take the child out of State, and the order forbids this, then yes, she can refuse. If it is during a time that she is supposed to have custody, same thing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    any deviation from the parenting plan does have to be agreed to by the parties.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    It would depend on exactly what the parenting plan says, since that is the governing documents. If the plan makes no provision for a vacation, then, there is no requirement that the other parent allow it. Similarly, if the parenting plan says the vacation is to be taken in the summer, and you are trying to take it in November, the other parent could refuse the request.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    It depends on what the underlying order says. If it is silent as to custody and visitation (not likely), either party can do anything he or she wishes; if it has some rules, those rules govern, but custody and visitation - including terms such as the right to take extended or out-of-State vacations - can be changed at any time. And you have time to file a motion and get it heard before November.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    Do the parties have a signed agreement (Separation Agreement or Parenting Agreement) or a Court Order?
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If the parties can't agree, then father can file a motion with the court asking for a court order allowing the vacation. November is not far away. Hence, he should file the motion ASAP so the court has time to hear the matter before the scheduled vacation. I'd suggest hiring a family law lawyer to help. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If it violates the order in any way, the other parent can be opposed to this request. So, if dad wants to take child out of state, or longer than his time, etc. He needs permission from the other parent or a court order. If mother does not agree, then he needs a court order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney