California ranks in the top 10 for states with the lowest divorce rates, with about six women per 1,000 divorcing annually. This equates to just over 229,000 people for a population of about 39 million.

Divorce is always hard, but it’s particularly challenging when children are involved. Parents naturally want to do all they can to minimize stress, maintain stability, and ease the transition for children. But it’s heartbreaking to realize that you’ll only have half the time with your kids.

Even parents who commit to a relatively amicable divorce and effective co-parenting can find joint custody challenging. Aside from managing a regular schedule of shifting kids between households, you must figure out how to split up holidays and try to put your feelings aside to do what’s best for your children.

Planning trips with kids can also be difficult. What are the rules regarding taking your kids on flights out of town? Does it matter where you go and for how long? Are there ways to get around normal custody arrangements? Here’s what you need to know when planning a trip out of San Diego.

Consult With Your Ex

A child custody agreement approved by parents or the court is enforceable by law, so it’s generally best to stick to it as much as possible. That said, there will be times when it’s simply not feasible. 

For example, if a child is sick when it’s time to switch households, both parents might agree that it’s wise for the child to stay put and then credit some extra time to the other parent when the child feels better.

The same principle applies to scheduling trips with children. Parents can always make adjustments for special circumstances as long as they discuss the situation and agree on a course of action. In other words, you can certainly book air travel with kids if the other parent agrees.

Where You Go

If you have joint custody of children and you’re traveling within your state of residence, you typically do not need permission from the other parent unless your trip extends beyond your allotted parenting time. 

If you’re leaving the state or the country, you may have to get permission from the other parent, even if the entire trip takes place during your court-ordered parenting time.

When You Go

This is an important aspect of planning any outings with kids. If you intend to travel during your parenting time and will remain in California, there’s little your ex-spouse can do to stop you. If, however, your trip will overlap with the other parent’s court-ordered visitation, you must get permission. However, if the other parent refuses, you have another possible avenue.

Petitioning the Court

If you want to leave the state or country or your trip overlaps with your ex-spouse’s parenting time and you cannot get their consent, your next legal option is to file a motion requesting a court order. 

There is no guarantee the court will grant it, but you’ll need it to legally travel out of state or temporarily go against the custody arrangement. This order should include the dates and locations of travel. This is important if your ex decides to file a complaint.

Always Follow California Law When Considering Travel With Your Children

If you cannot convince your ex to allow planned travel and you cannot obtain a court order, you’ll simply have to rethink your planned trip and try to make it work within the parameters of your custody arrangement. 

Taking children without the other parent’s consent or a court order could have lasting repercussions for you and your children. Think carefully before you get on a flight out of San Diego without proper permission.

Contact Our Family Law Firm in San Diego, CA

Contact our experienced San Diego family law lawyers at San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, today for legal assistance. Contact our San Diego office at (619) 866-3756 to schedule a free consultation.

San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC
2851 Camino del Rio S #430
San Diego, CA 92108