Divorced father wants to take kids on vacation out of the country


Most shared parenting plans allow the parent to leave the country for vacation as long as proper notice is given to the other parent.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Welcome back everybody. My name is Tom Olsen. The name of the show is Olsen on Law, every Saturday at 11:00 AM, right here on News 96.5. I would like to introduce you to attorney Michelle Barry. She specializes in family law including divorce, alimony, child support and time sharing. Hey, Michelle, welcome to the show.

Attorney Michelle Barry: Hello there Tom, thanks for having me.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Michelle, I got a call from a listener. He had been divorced 10 years ago and he wants to take his kids on a out-of-the-country vacation this year, which I'm sure would be wonderful for the minor children, but the mother is objecting to it and saying it's not within their parenting plan for him to take the kids out of the country and is not letting them go. I thought that might be a common situation in summer time, with all the vacations, with kids and divorced parents. What do you think about that?

Attorney Michelle Barry: Yes. There is definitely a lot of travel that goes on during the summer and a lot of folks have issues with things like making sure they have the correct IDs for their children, making sure that their names match, and of course, making sure that it's on the parenting plan that they are allowed to take the children out of the country. Normally, on parenting plan, there is a clause that addresses that.

It will say things that, "If you want to take the children out of the state then you have to give a certain amount of notice. If you want to take them out of the country, then you give them a bit more notice." Normally, it provide the other party with a list and itinerary and contact information where you guys are going to be. If there's a conflict now, there's two different ways to sort it out.

One would be to stipulate to a new parenting plan because, of course, if they got divorced 10 years ago, the children are 10 years older, things change and children have lives as well. That is one of the things that can be done. It can be done with a stipulation, you don't have to reopen the case. The court would then ratify the stipulation with an order that says it is the new parenting plan. It is done and simple. Otherwise, the other route would be with litigation and reopening the case and asking to a supplemental petition to modify the parenting plan that's currently in existence because of the changes that had occurred in the last 10 years.

Attorney Tom Olsen: The court's position is,"Okay to take the kids out of the country as a general rule, as long as you give sufficient notice to the other parent"?

Attorney Michelle Barry: Absolutely. Normally, it's about 30 days notice if you know you're going to take the children out of the country. Normally, most people book their flight or their cruises at least that far in advance. At that time, it's common procedure to let the other parent know where you're going, what you're doing and, "Here's a way to get a hold of us".

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. Michelle, tell the listeners how they can reach you.

Attorney Michelle Barry: Best way to get a hold of me is contact me at my phone number of, 4-0-7-6-2-2-4-5-2-9, or the absolute best way to get me is my e-mail which is michelle@mbarrylaw.com, which is M-I-C-H-E-L-L-E at M-B-A-R-R-Y-L-A-W dot com. I look forward to hearing from folks with family law concerns.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Thank you, we appreciate it. That's Michelle Barry, she's an attorney right here in the Orlando area. She specializes in family law including divorce, alimony, child support and time sharing. You can reach her at her office at 4-0-7-6-2-2-4-5-2-9 or her website mbarrylaw.com. Thanks for calling Michelle, we appreciate it.