So, you have your child and you want to go out of state with them for a vacation or to visit family… no problem, right? The answer is both yes and no. You will not have any problems if you take the right steps that will inform your child’s other parent where you will be. However, if you do not take the necessary steps to share your plans with them, then you could potentially face kidnapping charges for crossing state lines.
So How Do You Know What You Have to Do?
Check Your Court Papers
The first thing that you should do is check your court papers. You should look for the provisions for dealing with situations involving travel. Some court papers actually specify what you have to do when traveling out of town. Others simply give guidelines. Yet there are some that do not dictate travel at all. By checking your court papers first, you will be able to ensure that you follow all steps.
Write Your Plan Down
Next, you will find that you need to write your plans down on paper. When you are writing out your plans, you should make sure to take special care to decide all of your details prior to traveling. First, make sure that you have travel dates and times. If you are driving, have a list of your goals and hotels if you are stopping along the way. Also make sure that your lodging information is included in the paperwork.
Talk with Your Ex
While it might be uncomfortable to talk with your ex about your travel plans, it is important that you do so and include all travel information and discuss potential plans. This does not mean that you have to give your ex an extremely detailed itinerary, but let them know that you will be doing appropriate activities and provide information about where you will be staying. Make sure that you are clear with your intentions to have a good time and let them know your dates of travel early on if you have to agree together on the time your child will spend with you.
Get Prepared for Travel
No one wants to have a bad time traveling. Make sure that you are prepared with age-appropriate activities for your child while you are traveling. If you are going to be flying, have things ready for your child to do during the flight. If you are going to be driving, make sure that you have plenty of games and activities available for your child’s entertainment on the road. Take the time to prepare and come up with fun ideas and things that will make the trip easier. This will make your first travel out of town better overall. Plus, it will help increase the likelihood that you will all arrive in a good mood.
Understand Your Child’s Travel Needs
Realize that you are not traveling alone. Understand that children have different needs when traveling than adults do. Also, remember that some children are good about traveling while others are not. This will help alleviate tension and stress which will make it easier as you take your trip.
Traveling for the first time out of state can be smooth and easy. Just make sure that you take the time to do everything that you are supposed to before you are traveling. By following the rules outlined in your child custody agreement and being well prepared, you will be able to enjoy your trip out of town with your child.
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