What do I do if my ex does not let me take my son to see out of state relatives? 20 Answers as of April 28, 2011

My ex and I have a 5 year old son, who I would like to take to visit family out of state. However, he will not let me, even though he only sees him every other weekend. He threatens to take me to court. How can I deal with this?

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Read your divorce judgment. If there are no restrictions, you can take the child where you like. I would be surprised if there were such a restriction. MOVING with the child is a different matter, but traveling and visiting is generally not prohibited... You said your "ex," so I presume you are divorced. In my mind, that means your ex no longer has the right to "let" you do anything... Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/28/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
This may be a situation where you may have to go to court. It all boils down to the existing judgment granting custody and parenting time. If there is nothing that prohibits you from traveling with your child to visit family out of state, and you do it during your parenting time, then you should be ok. Your ex can try to take you to court to stop you if he feels you or your family are a danger to your son. I would strongly recommend consulting with an attorney before you attempt out of state travel.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/27/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
Review your court order. Do you have sole custody or joint custody? If joint custody, what does it say about say about either parent removing the child out of state for vacation? If you would like our office to look over the paperwork for you, simply contact the office for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/27/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
You need to either settle the matter between the two of you or go to Family Court or Supreme Court to seek an Order that allows you to take the child out of state to visit with relatives. Consult with a Matrimonial attorney right away. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
The best way to deal with this is to go to court and get orders which state that you can travel out of state with your son. The courts want to see parents working together. Since you have primary custody, the court will likely grant your request for travel. After you have those orders, it will no longer be an issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Does your parenting plan prohibit you from taking the child over state lines? If yes, seek a modification.Usually, there is no language prohibiting out of state travel and if there language requiring permission it also says the permission is not to be unreasonably withheld. Are you looking for written permission from your ex in case you are stopped or something? If your parenting plan doesn't restrict out of state and your parenting plan says it is your residential time, I don't think you have a problem. I think your ex would probably get laughed at in court unless there is some good reason to prohibit you.If there is language prohibiting, use the alternative dispute section if there is time. If not, seek permission from the court with notice to your ex. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Look at your custody orders. Do the orders say you cannot take your son out of state for a few days? I am betting they do not, but I was not the attorney that drafted them so I don't know what the agreement was 5 years ago.

    By the way, a geographic restriction says you will not take the child out of the are for the purposes of establishing residence. It does not prevent you from going on vacation, going to see family, etc. The limitation here is his visitation. You cannot violate/deny him visitation on his appointed weekends. So, if he has possession on the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends and you go see mom and dad in another state from the Monday after he has visitation to the Thursday before his next visitation - that is your choice not his and he can hug a tree. The Courts do not restrict you to the point of letting your ex control your movements. The Court only limits the child's residence so that Dad can exercise his visitation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Whether a trip out of State requires consent depends on your court order. If there is no restriction in the court order, you may travel out of the State unless the proposed travel interferes with an established parenting schedule.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Threats to take you to court are tools of intimidation, not necessarily realistic representations of truth. What does your divorce decree/custody order say? If it prohibits you or either of you from taking the child out of state at any time for any reason, then possibly his threats have some merit. But that is highly unlikely because courts rarely ever put such restrictions in a parenting plan order. Since you don't make it clear, it seems you may have never been married to you ex and, if not, perhaps there is no court order at all that spells out parental rights and responsibilities. If that is true, his threats are even more meaningless because without a court order he really doesn't have any specific rights and you don't have any specific obligations to him. Just because he threatens to do something doesn't mean he will and it certainly doesn't mean he will "win" anything if he does.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Normally you do not need permission to take a child for a temporary visit out of state, unless there are court orders prohibiting it or unless you plan on doing so when it is his time to have the child such that you are interfering with his visitation. You do not state whether there are any court orders prohibiting you from taking the child out of state or whether it will interfere with his visitation. You must obey whatever court orders there are in effect. If there is such an order in effect you can go to court to have it changed. If you wish to discuss further you can contact our firm.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Your divorce decree should state you can take the child out of the state with notice to the other party. You need to give him notice and if he takes you to court then you would need to explain to the judge the situation and why you want to take the child out of state.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    The law is a bit too complicated to set it out here, but I can explain it to you. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You can file a motion to modify custody terms to allow you to take your child to see his out-of-state relatives. It is considered beneficial for a child to have contact with relatives. Family Court Services will likely recommend, and hence the judge will likely allow such out of state travel, assuming there is nothing objectively dysfunctional about visiting the relatives. Also, if you request dad's permission in a letter with a deadline for him to respond, and he continues to refuse to grant permission, then as part of your court motion, you can request that dad reimburse you for any court costs, including attorney fees, for being forced to request custody modification orders (assuming dad has the ability to pay). If you are in Sonoma or Marin County, feel free to contact my office for further assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Pisarra and Grist
    Pisarra and Grist | David T. Pisarra
    Go to court and get a court order allowing you to travel. Very easy to do. Also you can read my books, A MAN'S GUIDE TO CHILD CUSTODY and A MAN'S GUIDE TO DIVORCE STRATEGY, available online and on my website.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    It depends on whether there is a Separation/Custody Agreement in place through the Court. If there is, and the language prohibits out-of-state travel (most do not), then you or your attorney would have to file a Complaint for Modification based on a material change in circumstances. If there is no Agreement in place through the Court, then there should be. A Complaint for Custody should be filed so that all of the potential issues can be addressed and the parties' rights established.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    If you are prohibited from taking your son out of state you must set a hearing for approval to do so. If the travel is for a vacation, the father will be hard pressed to convince the court that vacation should not happen. Most orders provide for out of state vacations. If yours does not, you need to have your orders reviewed, and modified to take care of future issues so you do not have to keep going back to court for life's normal activities.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You should file an Order to Show Cause requesting that the Court order that you may take your son to see his out-of-state relatives. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in preparing and proceeding with that OSC.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney