Modifying Child Custody Agreements To Allow Kids To Travel

mens divorce lawyer William BackerQuestion:

I would like to modify our child custody agreements so that our children can travel alone to come see me.

When we divorced, our children were young and I agreed to pay all travel expenses so they could fly to visit me in another state. The order required us to have an adult accompany the children when they flew, which I also had to pay for.

Now that the children are old enough to fly as unaccompanied minors I would like for them to do so, but my ex is refusing.

Is it reasonable to try and modify my child custody orders to allow the children to fly as unaccompanied minors?

Answer:

I am only licensed to practice law in Missouri so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce in your state. I can give general divorce help for men, though.

It is almost inevitable that there will be changes in circumstances following a dissolution of marriage and that the parents will have disputes regarding child custody agreements and/or parenting plan.

In order to convince the court that the court should modify its previous custody order, you would need to prove that there are facts that have arisen since the original decree of dissolution of marriage (or that there were facts that were unknown to the court at the time of the original decree) such that there is a change in the circumstances that the modification of the child custody order is in the best interests of the children.

The question that you are asking is whether it is reasonable to request the court to change the custody order to allow the children to fly as unaccompanied minors, as opposed to requiring you to pay for someone else to travel with them.

I would certainly think that you have a reasonable argument to the court in this regard. As you obviously know and could easily demonstrate to the court, most airlines will allow children to fly as unaccompanied minors once they reach age 5 and the airlines have policies and procedures in place to help young children travel. This is quite common.

I am sure that you can appreciate your ex-spouse’s concern that the children might get lost. You should prepare to address this concern by proving the very-detailed policies and procedures that the airline that you are using has in place.

If your ex-spouse is not willing to agree to this, you might suggest that she agree to pay the additional travel cost.

You should consider consulting with an attorney that is experienced in domestic litigation, and has specific experience in handling modifications of child custody orders.

Remember, I have only provided you with general information, not legal advice on divorce.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including William F. Backer, an Associate Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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