You may be like many people who would like to take their children on a vacation out of the state of New Jersey following a divorce. When it comes to children after divorce, there really is nothing at all unusual about an out of state vacation. With that in mind, there are some points to bear in mind when it comes to planning an out of state vacation with children after divorce:
- Understand terms of divorce decree
- Begin discussions with other parent early
- Destinations matter
- Length of time matters
- Consider a written vacation plan
- Arrange for appropriate virtual connections between children and other parent
Understand Divorce Decree
When planning out of state travel with children after divorce, the first step in the process is to make sure that you understand what is and is not permitted pursuant to the terms of the marriage dissolution decree. For example, a New Jersey divorce decree may have some specific travel requirements, particular restrictions, and a pre-trip process that needs to be filed when considering an out of state vacation.
Commence Vacation Discussions Early
Open, reliable communication is important when it comes to addressing issues involving children in a post-divorce world. This certainly is the case when it comes to a parent who desires to take a child or children out of state for a vacation following the end of a marriage. By beginning discussions about an out of state vacation with the kids on a proactive basis, any potential issues can be identified early on and hopefully addressed to the satisfaction of all involved.
A parent desiring to take a child or children on a vacation outside of New Jersey following a divorce needs to understand that destinations matter. The ability to undertake intranational versus international travel can be significant. In other words, planning a vacation with the kids from New Jersey to Disney World in Florida is markedly different from proposing a holiday in the Middle East. (Indeed, depending on the existing divorce decree, permission of the court might be necessary in order to undertake an international trip with the children.)
Length of Time Matters
On a related note, in addition to a destination being a key issue, so is the length of time proposed for out of state travel. Shorter trips typically are easier to coordinate between parents. A common strategy is for an initial out of state trip to be of shorter duration. Moving forward into the future, as parents and children alike become accustomed to out of state travel, longer vacations tend to be far easier to arrange.
Vacation Plan and Itinerary
A detailed vacation plan and itinerary is recommended when it comes to a proposed vacation trip that involves taking children out of state. Such a plan and itinerary complete contact information as to where the traveling party will be staying on any given day. It is also wise to include when and how “check-ins” will be undertaken with the parent not involved with the travels during the course of a vacation.
A non traveling parent is apt to be more comfortable with children being taken out of the state for a vacation if virtual technology is taken advantage of during the course of a trip. For example, something akin to virtual parenting time can be scheduled from time to time during a trip and as agreed to between the parents (and the children, depending on their ages). Virtual parenting time sessions can be included as part of the overall plan and itinerary for the out of state vacation.
If you’ve made a reasonable effort to plan an out of state trip with children after divorce and are running into what you perceive is unreasonable interference from the other party, judicial intervention may be the appropriate step to take. You can learn more about your legal rights when it comes to post-divorce out of state travel with your children by contacting the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen. We can arrange a consultation with an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer when you call (201) 845-7400.