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Do custody plans allow children to leave the state?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Child Custody

Parents who are planning to divorce or recently divorced are probably in the process of figuring out how they can best accommodate their children’s needs. Child custody planning can get especially tricky for people who travel a lot for work. Most parents decide to plan a custody schedule that aligns with their schedules.

Custody plans are an excellent way for children to stay connected and continue building their relationship with both of their parents. But the main question soon-to-be-divorced couples might have is whether they can take their kids out of state or out of the country.

Factors included in a custody plan

To ensure that the children’s best interests are a priority, some factors to include in an efficient custody plan are as follows:

  • Visitation schedule: both parents will carefully plan their children’s schedules to ensure their children is spending meaningful time with them.
  • Decision-making abilities: parents will decide which one of them or if they both will be making decisions relating to school, health, religion, etc.
  • Authority: in this plan, parents could also outline which parent will be the authority figure when it comes to disciplining or if both parents will tackle this role.
  • Dispute resolution: parents will come up with guidelines on how to handle disagreements between them or the children.
  • Additional provisions: under this guideline, a parent could make special requests, like what kinds of food their kids must eat or whether they should be able to take their kids with them out of state or out of the country certain times.

Special travel requests

While it might be legally tricky for one of the parents to relocate to a different state or country entirely, visiting might be easier under the eyes of the court. For parents worried their spouses might act irrationally and relocate their kids, under Texas’s Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Texas will be the place of residence for children who have been living there for six or more months.

As for parents wondering if they can take their kids on trips, it is allowed, but depending on certain factors such as both parents must agree, time away can’t disrupt a child’s school schedules or doctor’s appointments and trips should not pose any mental or health risks to the children. The other parent must always have a way to connect with the other parent and their kids.

If both parents agree that their children’s best interests come first, they can work out when their kids can accompany them on a business trip and when it’s best for them to be home with the other parent. However, if your soon-to-be ex-spouse is unpredictable, it is best to have legal preventative measures in place.