Do I Have To Notify My Ex If Traveling Out Of State With Kids?

Albany divorce lawyer Asa NeffQuestion:

I recently took a vacation with my child out of state and my ex-wife was furious.

In our child custody order there is no mention of us having to report travel to each other.

Is there any law or rule stating I have to inform my ex when I leave the state with our child?


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

Generally, under the law, there are no restrictions for travel with children when the children are with a parent during their parenting time.

Of course, a custody agreement or custody order can include any restrictions that either the parties or the court deem appropriate. If your custody order does not restrict travel than there is no basis for your ex to object to the travel itself.

She may, however, be taking objection more to not being informed of the travel than to the actual travel.

Preventing Relocation:

Moving Away With The Kids

While the law has no specific requirements that the noncustodial parent be informed of out-of-state travel, as long as you have joint legal custody it is good practice to keep each other informed if you are planning to have the kids away from home for any extended period of time.

While you may not be in violation of a custody order, this is the kind of thing parties point to when trying to seek a custody modification.

The bottom line here, is that you are not under a legal obligation to seek permission from, or to inform your ex of, travel out of state (unless the custody order directs otherwise), but, in the future, it would be a good idea to inform your ex of long-distance travel, if for no other reason than to avoid potential issues down the road.

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 New York Divorce Lawyer Asa Neff, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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2 comments on “Do I Have To Notify My Ex If Traveling Out Of State With Kids?

    I went through the same thing with my ex here in NY. I have physical custody and don’t see what the hell his problem is other than he doesn’t like my family. We went to see my brother and his family for 5 days which weren’t interfering with his visitation.

    In the future, send an email of the flight itenerary and brief description of reason for the travel. You’re not getting “permission”, you are communicating about your child’s life. We just want to know where the child is going and the time to expect them back. It’s not a big deal, just that responsible parents need to know their minor children’s whereabouts at all times. You would require the same peace of mind vice versa, think about it. Also, if you have joint legal custody, the other parent needs to ok for you to make medical decisions for the child in their absence. That could be life or death. Also they need to know what to do, where to go if something happens to YOU while you’re away. Set the bitterness aside and communicate. Other parent can’t stop you from going wherever you want, but they have a right and obligation to ensure the safety of their child, and to come for them if necessary.

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