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Should Divorced Parents Travel With Kids During the 2020 Holidays?

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

holiday parenting time family law attorneyFor many people, the holiday season is an opportunity to travel to visit with family members or enjoy vacation activities. Divorced parents may make travel plans for the days that their children are out of school, and this can be a great opportunity to make new memories. However, many of these plans have been upended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you are a single father who is planning to travel with your kids over the holidays, or if you are concerned about how your ex’s travel plans may affect your children’s safety, you should be sure to understand the best ways to address these issues.

Reviewing Your Parenting Agreement

Before making any travel plans, you should be sure to understand your rights and requirements as defined in the parenting agreement created during your divorce. This agreement should specify the days that your children will be spending with you during the holidays, and understanding your parenting time schedule during this time can ensure that you will be able to plan properly. If either you or your ex makes travel arrangements that do not fit into your holiday parenting time schedule, you may agree to make adjustments as needed. By being flexible, you can help your children enjoy their holiday time with both parents while ensuring that you have the time you deserve with them.

Your parenting agreement will also specify any rules that you and your ex must follow when traveling with your children. For example, a parent may be required to notify the other parent before they travel out of state with their children, provide an itinerary for a trip, and relay contact information at different times and locations.

Addressing Travel Restrictions and Safety Issues

This year, parents may also need to be aware of a variety of additional concerns when traveling with children. To protect family members from potential COVID-19 infections, the CDC is recommending that families postpone travel and stay home whenever possible. If parents do choose to travel, they should be sure everyone follows safety precautions, including wearing masks when in public, staying at least six feet away from those who are not in their travel group, and ensuring that parents and children wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth whenever possible. Parents should also be aware of any travel restrictions in their home state and any other states they will be visiting.

If you are concerned that your ex’s travel plans will affect your children’s safety or create a risk that you or your other family members may be infected, you should contact your ex to discuss your concerns. The two of you may be able to agree on plans that will protect everyone’s safety. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, and you believe that your children are at risk of harm, you may need to pursue legal action to address these issues. If necessary, you may be able to file an emergency petition in family court asking to place restrictions on travel that may increase the risks to your children’s health and safety.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer

When addressing legal issues related to holiday parenting time or travel plans, a family law attorney can explain your legal options and advocate for your children’s best interests. By understanding your rights and the steps that you can take to protect your kids’ safety, you can rest assured that your family will be safe and healthy during this holiday season.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

https://www.ourfamilywizard.com/blog/traveling-kids-after-divorce

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2020/12/11/holiday-travel-check-covid-19-travel-restrictions-by-state/3878341001/

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