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Make sure important documents are in the suitcase when you travel

When you divorced your spouse in Texas, you didn't divorce your children. Parenting continues, albeit, you might face several challenges regarding lifestyle changes as time goes on. One of the most common areas where problems seem to arise after divorce has to do with travel. Are you allowed to travel with your children? Yes. Can you simply pickup whenever you like and head to another state or country with your children in tow? It isn't likely.

If this is the first summer you and your children will be taking a vacation sans their other parent, you may want to think ahead to make sure you've got all bases covered so you can make the most of the special time you have together.

Review the guidelines first

Complete spontaneity is not really possible once you become a divorced parent. However, life needn't be a rigid endeavor where every single moment is planned and scheduled either. It's all about balancing your personal goals with court-ordered requirements, which is often easier if both parents are willing to cooperate and compromise as needed. Keeping the following in mind may come in handy as well:

  • If there's an existing custody and/or visitation order in your particular situation, it's best to consider its guidelines and stipulations before you make vacation plans.
  • Reviewing guidelines ahead of planning allows time for discussion if any disagreements arise.
  • There may be certain times of year or certain amounts of time in which you are permitted to travel with your children. If your potential plan goes outside those parameters, it may necessitate adjustments, such as providing extra visitation time to your former spouse upon return. In general, the other parent must agree and the court must approve any suggested changes to an existing order.
  • Providing documentation of your planned itinerary helps prevent negative surprises and keep lines of communication open between parents and children.

If you or your ex plan to take your children overseas after your divorce, the government requires that the children have valid passports. If sharing legal custody, both parents will probably have to consent to the passport application process.

However, there have been many situations where parents take children to other countries and don't return at the agreed upon times. This would obviously raise concerns for parents waiting for their children to come back to the United States. Many who find themselves facing such issues reach out for immediate support.

Providing there are not extraneous circumstances that would prompt the court to forbid you to travel with your children, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to enjoy summer vacation together, even abroad. If you wish to discuss your travel plans before they're finalized, or you've run into a problem regarding some aspect of your plan, you can ask a Texas family law attorney to help determine how best to proceed to rectify the situation, which, in some circumstances, may involve returning to court.

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