Taking vacations out of state without the other parent’s permission

Question:mens divorce lawyer

I am trying to go on vacation out of state with my daughter, who I have primary physical placement, for spring break.

My ex will not give me the permission I need to leave with her and has threatened to call the police if I do attempt to leave. I’ve even offered to give her the full information as to where we would be staying, contact information, etc.

Can I still take this trip without her permission?


It is very difficult for me to give you an answer to your question about taking your daughter on vacation without knowing what the physical placement arrangement is between you and your daughter’s mother.

Though you have primary physical placement, you could be held in contempt or she could file an enforcement motion against you if you will be gone during times when she is to have placement during the week you are gone.

Many placement orders have a provision regarding the parents being able to take a vacation of a certain number of consecutive days with notice to the other party. Check your order to see if you have this sort of language.

You should document that you have provided her with the details of the trip and requested to take your daughter with you.

If you do go and she does file an action against you in family court, you can attempt to show that you had provided the details of the trip to her and she was being unreasonable in refusing to let you go.

Please note that there are a number factors that play into the reasonable of a situation, and I cannot advise you of whether she is or is not being unreasonable without more information.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide.


Trisha B. Festerling is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices family law exclusively. Ms. Festerling’s practice is focused on men’s divorce, child support, child custody, paternity and modification. She is licensed in the state of Wisconsin. Ms. Festerling received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on Political Science, Magna cum Laude, from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She received her Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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18 Comments on "Taking vacations out of state without the other parent’s permission"

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3 months 26 days ago
My daughter has an 8 year old daughter and never been married to the father. We live in California, I am the grandfather. My ex-wife and my daughter wants to send my granddaughter to Las Vegas for 17 days without neither one of them being there they are sending her to Las Vegas with my ex-wife’s friend and the father is furious he do not want his child to leave California like that and neither do I. What your suggestion and direction that we should take to stop this is is it legal for them to make this unilateral decision… Read more »
2 months 17 hours ago

If there is a custody and visitation order in place that restricts or prohibits taking the child out of state, there has to be mutual parental consent for the child to travel. The father can demand that mother gets authorisation from the court, or they can communicate to resolve the issue.The father can prevent the child from traveling.

3 months 27 days ago
I live in Kansas and my ex-husband’s sister wants to take my kids to go see their family in California for approximately 2 weeks. I do not give consent for them to go because I am not comfortable with my children traveling that far for that long without a parent in attendance. My ex-husband says that she can take them because he gave consent and mine doesn’t matter. I have no idea where they will be, what they will be doing or exactly when they plan to return. All I know is that they want to leave next Tuesday morning,… Read more »
2 months 17 hours ago

Father cannot make plans on your time. If your children are not there on your court ordered parenting time, you can call the authorities. Also you can go to court to modify custody on the grounds that the other parent is withholding the children from you, and get a better order established.

Thierry Ilela
6 months 16 days ago

My wife who is trying to go to a mediation before filing a divorce took my three children to a college visit for my daughter without my knowing . I found out about the college visit two days prior to the trip and I did not want to be the bad guy and make a fuss about it. This was the first college visit for my daughter . My wife with whom we have planned to complete some colleges visits together as a family left me out without any consultation

2 months 17 hours ago

Your wife should not have done that. Kudos to you for not making a fuss, college tours are in the best interest of your children, even if you didn’t get to go. Communicate with your eldest college bound child, so you know when the next trip is, or at least the one she wants you on. Maybe just you two can go to one visit. Make a plan now so you don’t go through this with the next two. Good luck.

6 months 12 days ago

If there’s not a filed divorce then it’s your wife taking both your kids on a trip. I mean, a judge would expect you to be reasonable. If it benefits the kids, is it even worth fighting over? And since there’s not any guidelines in place because you’re married, she’s not breaking any rules.

6 months 23 days ago
My husband has custody of my step daughter. They are under the Indiana parenting guidelines. Recently I her step mother took the child on vacation with me and my 3 other daughters. Her father at last minute could not go so I had my sister another responsible adult go with us and her daughter my niece. I provided my step daughters mother with all the information and phone numbers. On our way home from the trip she sends me a text that I had no right to take her child without her father. He gave the child permission to go… Read more »
8 months 4 days ago

Ugh… My ex was granted child support credit for transporting her once a month visitation.
He refuses during months with his holiday time because he only gets credit ford one. However, I was told holiday time and regular visitation are separate… Does he still have to get her or not?

8 months 4 days ago

Also, he plans on taking her out of the country. I do NOT give consent. Can he take her anyway?

Zuleika Diaz
9 months 8 days ago

My ex is taking my 13 year old out of the state of Florida for a “family” vacation during 4 days of school. We have a shared parenting plan 50/50 but she will be missing 4 days of school and he does not have my consent. Do i need to contact an attorney now or what happens if he takes her without my permission.

Randall Demchak
10 months 14 days ago

I am 50 and have two children, recently my wife told me that she was in love with someone she met on line. The talk of going to new Jersey and seeing if it would work. She said something about taking the kids with her. My fear is that she won’t come back. What can I do.

1 year 11 days ago

My son it’s 8 years old I was granted sole custody do to my ex being violent has a restraining order and supervised visits he never went to the program or have bother to be on our sons life for the past 8 years. my son wants to go visit Mexico with my mother if I have sole custody can I give him permission to leave the state with out letting the dad know or do I still need his permission ?

1 year 5 months ago

If my child was taken out of state by her father who I was never married to and I know address, do I file family court papers in home state or state he moved to? We’ve never established court custody. We shared visitation before he took off with her. I finally have an address he lives with her at. What should I do? And make sure he can’t avoid being served? Please help!

4 years 6 months ago
Step daughter’s mother takes her out of state without permission for trips/vacationsMy step daughter’s mother and my husband have shared custody. We have her one week and then she goes to her mom’s for a week. In the court papers it states that you must have written consent to take the child out of state for any purpose. Her mother has taken her once before and we only found out after they got back. We took her out of state last year for vacation. We planned on staying with my relatives and she demanded we give her all the names,… Read more »