Holiday Travel Can Cause Heated Child Custody Disputes

Travel during the holidays with children in a split child custody and time-sharing situation can be complicated. Holiday travel planning can cause serious conflict between the parents. It often ends in court.

The holidays often involve travel. In fact, this is among the greatest joys during the holiday season.

When a child custody and time-sharing plan is in place, travel during the holidays can be problematic and can cause some rather serious conflict. Ultimately, these issues frequently end up in front of a judge.

It is very important to adhere to the Parenting Plan. Violations of the parenting plan’s holiday time-sharing arrangements will be met with serious consequences from the court.

The prior admonition presumes the parenting plan provides for holiday time-sharing. Unfortunately, some parenting plans were put together in haste and neglect to address the specifics that arise during the holidays.

One provision that is often overlooked is holiday travel. This is particularly so with out of state or out of country travel. Out of state presents some problems if the other parent disputes it. This may require a court hearing to resolve.

Out of country travel is impossible with minor children without the approval of the other parent in the absence of a parenting plan filed with the court that allows for it. Airport personnel will require the other parent’s authorization before allowing the child to board an international flight.

As may be expected, these disputes can turn to very high conflict. This is particularly so during the often emotionally fraught holidays. With high conflict come court, attorney fees and costs. More importantly, these conflicts can cause serious emotional damage for all, especially the children.

In short, plan ahead for holiday travel. Make sure a plan is in place. If it is not, then start early on getting one in place with the court. Getting a court hearing during the holidays will be very difficult.

The Albuquerque divorce and family law attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. have extensive experience in child custody and time-sharing matters. We can be reached at (505) 242-5958.

Share your thoughts