Travel Post-Divorce

Many families regularly travel together while they are a single family unit, but once a divorce is finalized the ability to make travel arrangements with children can be a daunting task unless this issue has been fully dealt with when the parties worked out their Florida Family Law Parenting Plan. The reality is that traveling with a parent should be a fun getaway and parents should strive to make it that way – but in New Horizons Law, P.A., Michael J. Costantino, Esq.’s experience that is not always the case.
In many instances the parties become angry and bitter post-divorce, and/or one parent has more financial resources available to travel which causes the other parent to allow jealousy to interfere with his or her common sense. Therefore when New Horizons Law, P.A., Michael J. Costantino, Esq. drafts a Parenting Plan, we take into consideration a number of factors which includes the age of the children, the county where the children attend school, extracurricular activities, and the vacation time that is available to each parent.
The vacation time that is available to each parent is important were one parent is employed in a position that is seasonal or tourist oriented. For example, a teacher or professor only can travel during certain times of the year so that must be taken into consideration; just as may be the case with other professions.
Some of the more important issues that need to be addressed are “Who is permitted to travel with the children?” “Will the children be allowed to miss school days and if so, how many?” “How will the children communicate with the non-travelling parent?”
One obstacle that can arise while negotiating the terms of a Florida Family Law Parenting Plan is how to handle visits with grandparent(s), especially when the grandparent(s) live out of state and the children had routinely spent one on one time with one or both sets of grandparent(s) prior to their parents contemplating a divorce.
New Horizons Law, P.A., Michael J. Costantino, Esq. has found that the issue of international travel has different issues and concerns than domestic travel. These issues include passports, safety of country visited, and the difference in time zones.
In our experience, the passport issue can cause the most significant problem if it is not properly handled in the Parenting Plan since both parents must sign an application to obtain a passport. Then the next concern with passports is which parent gets to hold the passports during the time period where there is no travel as well as how and when the passports are transferred to the parent who is travelling internationally with the children.
The safety of the travel destination has two separate and distinct issues. First, a parent can limit travel only to countries which fall under the Hague Convention because these countries provide for an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to the child’s home country. The second issue involves countries where children may be exposed to exotic and inherently dangerous animals; or allowed to participate in dangerous activities such as zip-lines or white water rafting.
When addressing the issue of children travelling, New Horizons Law, P.A., Michael J. Costantino, Esq. has found that the dynamics of every family is different so this issue requires some special attention. If you have any questions about Parenting Plans with travel provisions, please contact New Horizons Law, P.A., Michael J. Costantino, Esq.