One of the most frustrating aspects of negotiating time-sharing between separated parents is out of state and foreign travel.
While in many circumstances an objecting parent may have serious and legitimate concerns about one parent travelling with the minor children, often it has little to do with safety fears or issues with making up school work. Unfortunately, many times it has everything to do with competition between the parents.
When parents with children separate, life as they once knew it changes forever. Matters that were easily resolved in years past now have a greater degree of complexity that few truly appreciate. When one parent desires to take the children on a trip it is not uncommon for the other parent to object before he/she even knows the first detail about the trip. Remember that the personal feelings you may harbor toward the other parent must be set aside. Your desire should be to do what is best for your children. This desire must be paramount in these situations. From time to time parents receive travel opportunities that may provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for their children. Don’t be the hurdle that must be cleared or worse yet, the hurdle that could not be cleared, depriving your child of an opportunity he/she might not get again. Remember that the ability to travel should not be viewed as a competition between you and the other parent. If you cannot take your children on a trip overseas and the other parent can make that happen, let that parent take the children on the trip. Your children will be exposed to new sights, cultures and experiences that will benefit them greatly throughout their lives.
In the event you are the parent requesting the travel over the parent’s objection remember that you have a number of options. First, if all attempts to resolve the matter have been exhausted, hire an experienced family law attorney to put the matter before the Court. Do not give up hope when the other parent is being unreasonable and refusing to agree without any true valid reasons. Sometimes there are valid reasons to object to travel, and you should be cognizant of those reasons and/or concerns and attempt to cure those concerns, if at all possible, to avoid having to turn to litigation. if you are traveling for work and the child(ren) will be unattended in a foreign country, this may be a valid concern. Put yourself in the others parent’s “shoes” to see if it is best for the children to travel. If the objecting parent is being unreasonable, that is a different situation.
For more information on shared parenting, time-sharing and travelling with your children please contact the law firm of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates.