Traveling Out of Town with Your Children: Do You Need Permission?
The holidays are here, and for many families that means traveling out of state — whether to visit family or to simply get away from the cold Illinois winters and spend time on the beach. But if you are divorced and have a child custody agreement, can you continue to travel out-of-state with your children during the holidays? The answer is yes – but only if the other parent agrees.
Out-of-State Travel with Illinois Children
Illinois law requires each parent who is part of a child custody agreement to retain the other parent’s consent before traveling out of Illinois with the children for vacation. Parental consent is not required for in-state travel.
The easiest way to obtain consent is to have it written in to a child custody agreement. An agreement can specify designated times each parent may leave the state with the children. For example, a father may take his children to Florida over July 4th every year. Or, an agreement can state simply that either parent may leave the state with the children for vacation during that parent’s designated custody time, provided that prior notice is given to the other parent.
If out-of-state travel is not written into a child custody agreement, then the parents may give consent at the time of each proposed trip. In these cases, and to avoid any possibility of being accused of illegally removing the children from the state, the non-traveling parent should sign a statement indicating that he or she consents to the travel. The traveling parent should carry this consent (or the custody agreement, if consent to travel was made part of the agreement) in the off chance that proof is requested by airlines or the authorities.
Regardless of whether consent is granted in the child custody agreement or prior to each individual trip, you should always provide the other parent with your contact information for the trip, including the address and telephone number of wherever you will be staying. Additionally, you should provide the other parent with this information even if you plan to travel only within Illinois.
If the other parent does not consent to out-of-state travel, then you may not leave the state with your children without a Court order. As you can expect, this can be a costly endeavor, and the issue may not be resolved prior to your proposed dates of travel.
Palatine Child Custody Attorney
Raising children is full of surprises; child custody issues do not always end once an agreement is finalized. But, an experienced child custody attorney can help you plan for the more common issues parents face while raising their children in separate households. This will help save you both time and money and will cut down on the need to return to Court to hash out these issues. If you are in the midst of a child custody dispute, contact Palatine child custody attorney Nicholas W. Richardson today.