Can My Ex Prevent Me From Taking The Children On Vacation?

divorce lawyer Caroline ThompsonQuestion:

My child custody agreement allows me to travel out of state with my children on vacation during summer break.

My ex-wife says she does not want the children traveling with me and will not allow it.

Does she have any legal right to stop me from taking the children on vacation if it is in accordance with the custody agreement?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce and child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.

Once the court enters a child custody order, the court expects that each party will abide by the order. If parties to a custody order do not abide by the terms of the order, then the party seeking enforcement of the terms of the order has the ability to file a contempt petition against the offending party.

Divorce Advice For Fathers:

Traveling Out Of State With Children

In order for contempt to be found, the moving party (the one who wants to show there was contempt) has to show that the offending party has “willfully failed to comply” with the court order. In other words, you have to show that a person is purposely not abiding by the terms of the custody order.

If a vacation schedule is outlined in a custody order, then each party must honor that schedule. However, the courts generally will not enter a contempt order until such time as the custody order has actually been violated or there is a clear indication that the custody order will not be followed, i.e., a person actually stating, preferably in writing, that they will not abide by the terms of the court order.

If the courts find that a party is in contempt of the custody order, there are several remedies the court may utilize.

Some examples are imposing monetary sanctions, awarding attorney fees if a lawyer is retained, changing of the custody order (a rare occurrence but may happen if contemptuous behavior is pervasive and ongoing), and potential incarceration.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer Caroline J. Thompson, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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