Co-parenting is not something you can always do by the book. The dynamics of each Texas family differ, and could be particularly complicated in the event of a divorce. Even if you and the other parent have a visitation or parenting plan that works for all, contention may arise if you want to take your child on vacation when it is not your turn. When disputes between divorced parents arise, winter, spring or summer breaks are often the causes of disagreement.
Regardless of whether your child custody order is specific in regard to vacations or whether it is left up to you and your ex to negotiate, there are steps to take to escape custody disputes. These measures could allow you to avoid contentious co-parenting and having to go to court to get permission to arrange a family vacation.
Planning and preparation
Any arrangements that are outside the specifications of a court order have the potential to lead to visitation and custody issues. You may be able to protect yourself from legal consequences by taking the following steps:
- Communicate — The best approach would be to start planning well in advance and keep the other parent in the loop as much as possible. If you share the details of your travel plans, accommodation and planned activities, it may leave you enough time to address any disputes that might arise. Having all these conversations in writing, such as on emails, you would have established a record if the need arises to seek permission from the court — or if your ex alleges a violation of the court order.
- Send written reminders — Keep in mind that your former spouse may deliberately try to ruin your plans by last minute objections. For this reason, you may want to send written reminders as the vacation time approaches. If your plans are threatened in any way, and you have to resort to the court, having written proof of the planning along with reminders may strongly benefit your cause.
- Avoid recurrences — If your ex has managed to derail your carefully planned vacation with your child, you can take steps to avoid similar disappointments in the future. If you can show the court that the other parent is deliberate and insensitive to the child’s happiness, a petition for the modification of your child custody order may be successful. If you were within your rights to arrange the vacation, you could pursue a legal action for custodial interference.
Fortunately, these are not the types of battles you have to fight on your own. You are free to seek the support of an experienced Texas family law attorney to guide you every step of the way. Arranging a legal consultation with a skilled lawyer who can address your situation as is appropriate under state law may significantly increase your odds of obtaining the outcome you desire during any contentious family law matter.