Can Unmarried Dads Take Their Kid Out Of State On Vacation?

mens divorce lawyer Janet Yu JohnstonQuestion:

I was wondering about rights for fathers who are not married. I would like to take my child on vacation to another state over the summer.

So can I just leave with my daughter or do I need to also seek permission from her mother?


I am not licensed to practice law in your state so I cannot offer advice on divorce. However, I can give you general divorce help for men that may be useful to you.

A few questions that come to mind are whether there is some type of child custody agreement or order regarding your child, and also who your child’s primary custodial parent is.

If the mother is the primary parent, with whom your daughter generally resides, then I would say that you definitely need permission or to arrange the out-of-state vacation with the mother. Otherwise, she could easily contact the local authorities and claim that you are kidnapping the child.

If there isn’t a custody arrangement or order in place currently, I would recommend that you meet with an attorney in your jurisdiction and file a motion to have an order put into place ensuring you are able to have the appropriate parenting time and rights to your daughter.

Again, as I am unfamiliar as to the specific laws for your state, I recommend speaking to a lawyer licensed in your state for legal advice on divorce as soon as possible, as it may take some time to navigate the court system.

Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers located nationwide. To arrange an initial consultation with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Janet Yu Johnston, an Associate Attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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