How Child Custody Can Affect Your Vacation Plans

A family of four walking on the beach.

Additional Planning Responsibilities

As summer approaches and families plan vacations, those who are divorced and wanting to take their children on a trip have additional factors to consider beyond just destination and method of transportation. When sharing parental responsibility with an ex-spouse, a parent has to plan and communicate effectively in order to avoid complicating a fun trip with a child.

Receive Permission

Most parenting agreements in Illinois require permission from the other parent in order to take a child on a vacation without them, depending on the location. If the trip occurs in-state, then general notification is courteous and consent is not required. Out-of-state travel requires consent. Not obtaining this consent could cause serious legal problems for you and your custody agreement.

Many times, parents are able to come to an agreement on allowing a child to take a vacation provided that specific information is given to the other parent, such as destination, housing, and contact information. If this vacation interferes with regularly scheduled visiting time, parents often work out an alternative arrangement in order to keep court-ordered visitation rights intact.

The state of Illinois recommends that parents taking a child on vacation away from the other parent carry with them a written travel consent form in the event that proof is requested, especially if the child is a minor.

Out-Of-State and International Travel

Traveling out-of-state requires permission from the other parent, but if a parent wishes to travel internationally with a child, then additional measures must be taken before leaving the country. Parents must sign forms on behalf of the child for a passport, and the traveling parent must ensure there are no age restrictions where the vacation is planned.

Similarly, a parent must provide consent for this trip, and it would be wise to bring a signed consent form along on the trip.

Complications with Permission

A parent could deny permission for the trip for numerous reasons, including fear of not returning, safety concerns, or schedule conflicts. If so, consulting an attorney and determining if going to court is the best option and in the best interest of the child.


If you have a custody issue and need help, don’t delay in contacting Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. as soon as possible. Call (312) 487-2795 or visit us online to schedule your consultation today.

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