Today’s mini episode is going to focus on traveling with your kids after a divorce.
Most divorce agreements do speak to anticipated travel with children. And by that, I don’t mean that they speak to where you intend to go with your kids and when, but they speak to travel in two basic categories.
The first is typically a commitment to share some level of information with the non-traveling parent in advance of your trip with the kids. So if you are planning on traveling to another state for a long weekend to visit your family, you would often, in your agreement, say, “If we’re going to be traveling out of state or taking a trip with the children, we will let the other parent know X amount of days or weeks in advance, and we will share the following information with them.”
That information is, typically, your travel itinerary and then contact information for you and for the children throughout your trip. That’s one component of traveling with kids after divorce.
The second component of traveling with kids after divorce is restrictions on travel. By that, I mean some couples – many couples – will, for certain types of travel, they will want to require that there’d be mutual agreement of the parents before either parent is allowed to travel with the child.
Let me give you some examples. At one end of the spectrum, you could say, for instance, “Any travel out of state, or any travel out of the country, even if it’s to Canada or the UK, would require the mutual agreement of the parents.”
Beyond that, you might say, “We’re comfortable with travel to certain countries or certain continents, but if there’s going to be travel to X, Y, Z countries or continents or regions, then, we require mutual agreement.”
Another way that parents will sometimes shortcut that is by saying that if a country has been listed on the Department of State’s website where there’s a travel advisory, there’s a travel warning, that’s been issued against it or related to it, that for those countries, you would have to, as parents, mutually agree before you could travel with the children to that country.
And just a word of warning: the Department of State travel advisory and travel alert or travel warning list is very comprehensive. It includes, typically includes, countries like Mexico. So, you want to just take a look at the list and make sure that that makes sense to you as a country that you want to restrict travel to without mutual agreement of the parents.
Where you are speaking about restrictions on travel, you can also specifically restrict travel to an individual country. For instance, if you have a concern about a parent being from a particular country and maybe taking the kids there and not returning from that country, you could in your agreement say that travel to X country is not permitted.
You could also specifically say that travel to X, Y, Z countries is allowed, and the parents will permit it and they will sign whatever forms are necessary to allow for travel to maybe the countries of origin of both parents or whatever the case may be.
You could say, “We require mutual agreement for international travel, except that travel to A, B, and C countries is permitted.”
So those are a few ways to address traveling with children in your divorce agreement. I hope this mini episode on travel was helpful for you.