Can a non-custodial parent be prevented from taking theirchildren on a trip outside of the US?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2011

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Can a non-custodial parent be prevented from taking theirchildren on a trip outside of the US?

My ex-wife has custody of our 3 teenage children. I see my kids weekly and every other weekend, and my support is current. I’ve been remarried about 7 years. My wife and I would like to take my kids on a Christmas cruise to the Bahamas in December; my ex is protesting that, “If something happened to one of the kids outside the U.S. she would not be able to get to them…” Can she keep us from taking my kids on this vacation?

Asked on July 29, 2011 Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What does your divorce and custody agreement state?  Honestly, though, I think that what ever it may state I would go the extra step and call your attorney on the matter.  If your trip is going to interfere with her time with the kids and she will not consent you may have to request that the court allow you to do so. Taking the kids outside of the United States without the consent of the other parent can get you in to deep trouble.  It indeed sounds as if your ex is just trying to bust your chops but she can stick to the letter of the agreement should she choose.  So start working on it now and keep your cool for the sake of the girls.  Good luck.

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