There are a lot of things to learn/re-learn about life after divorce or separation. If you have kids, new routines need to be created and custody rights need to be observed. Traveling with your children after you have separated from their other parent is something that needs your attention as it is much more complicated now that you are no longer with your spouse. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to travel with your kids post-separation.
Plan in advance
Make sure to plan out when you want to travel with your children because you must ensure there is consent to travel from the other parent. You must consider the timing and whether the trip interferes with their other parent’s scheduled time with the children. You will also want to check if there are any travel restrictions or warnings for your planned destination and alert the other parent if there are. If there is a joint custody arrangement, the other parent may not agree for the child(ren) to go to a place that has travel restrictions.
Review your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan
Make sure you know what your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan says when it comes to travel. There may be certain clauses pertaining to this matter which set out what type of notice and what information needs to be provided to the other parent. There may be a provision in the agreement where it is possible to make up parenting for the non-traveling parent if the trip impinges on his or her time.
Get a signed letter from the other parent
If you are planning on traveling out of the country it is important to get a letter from the other parent which gives consent for you to travel with the child to the destination. Samples letters can be found on this government website.
Keep the other parent in the loop
Inform the other parent as to whether travel insurance is in place and discuss whether any vaccinations should be given before the trip. Consult your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan as to what information you must provide to the other parent with respect to the trip and whether you have a responsibility to make the child(ren) available for phone or video calls while you are out of town.