Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

This is a discussion on Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation? within the Child Custody & Support forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; I am currently going through a divorce. We share joint custody of our two children, with her having primary physical ...

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Old Mar 25th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #1
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Unhappy Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

I am currently going through a divorce. We share joint custody of our two children, with her having primary physical custody. We have already been to Family Court and have child support set. Visitation was determined to be at the discretion of the parties. The divorce decree reads that neither party can remove the children from the area for a period of more than one week without the consent of the other party.

My concern is, back in September my fiancee and I arranged to go on vacation with my eldest son to Disney. The night before we were to leave my ex changed her mind and said he couldn't go, thus causing us financial loss, upsetting my son, etc. She in return, took the kids to Indiana (we reside in NY) for a week. What rights do I have under the law for visitation? Does she really have the right to not allow me to take my children to Disney, for instance? I would like to take them on vacation but she is always using the kids as a pawn to get revenge on me. What can I do??

Also, we deviated from the original child support order - as a part of our divorce. Does the divorce take precedence over the family court order of child support? The divorce papers have been signed by the Judge and should be filed in the next several days. Can she go to family court and ask for a modification of child support, as she so threatens she'll do, after we receive the filed papers back? Certain agreements were made, such as I pay a reduced amount of child support if I received a reduced amount of child support. I just don't want to end up paying the regular support plus all housing payments. I wouldn't be able to afford it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thank you in advance.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

You need to make the divorce and the orders consistent or one needs to refer to the other. Amend the divorce agreement if need be. The orders need to say when you get the visitation--it must be clear.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

WOW! GET THAT ORDER CHANGED!!!! You CANNOT keep having the visitation "at the parties discretion"... my son's father kept my son from me for two months on those grounds, and no legal action could be taken since the custody arrangement was so vague. You must set a schedule for visitation, and no, after you have a set visitation arrangement, your child's mother cannot dictate what you do or where you go while you have the child. I believe in some states you must have their consent to take the child out of country, but to Disney World, no, she can't object to that. But you must have a written, firm schedule in order to have the law on your side in enforcing that order.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

My husband has joint custody of his son. his son told him tonight that him and his mother are going to FL for 2 weeks. his es has mentioned nothing about this at all to him and he does not want his son going out of state with her. she has broken all visitation that was set by the court and he hasnt done anything because we cant afford an attorney right now. By the way we live in CT. The proble is is that she is a liar and a cheat and she cant be trusted. I dont know who will be going and i know they are staying with one of her friends who is just as bad as her and she is an adulterer also. What can i do. do I have the right to tell her she cant take my son out of the state? I really need help with this one. and it doesnt say anything about vacations in the divorce. just that I am supposed to see him on Tuesdays and thurdays and every other saturday and she does not follow the court order. Can i tell her i dont want my son taken out of the state?
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

I'm a little confused by your post, zajw. You began it by stating your husband has joint custody of his son with his ex. During the last part of your post, you ask for advice on what you can do to keep your son in state? Is it your son or your husband's son?

If it's your husband's son, you have no authority to do anything.
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Old Aug 28th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

regarding the original post.

If your child access order has nothing specific in it like Tuesday from 12 to 8 pm then it is not enforceable and she can say no when ever she wants*** even if she put it in writing earlier. Your court orders says you have to agree with access so she can disagree when ever she wants.

You have no other choice but to go back to court and get a set schedule. Be very specific about times including exact vacation lengths (2 weeks, 10 days, Saturday to Following second Sunday) Most people don't actually realize that 1 week is 7 days and think they get both weekends surrounding the week. If the order doesn't say it you don't get it.


As for child support, check your states guidelines. If she asks to increase what you are currently ordered to pay file with the court your situation maybe you qualify for hardship. What ever order is last signed by a judge is what you pay so if the Most current order is higher than what your paying be prepared for her to at any time in the future claim you are in default. Even if she agree to allow you to pay lower the court order is what is enforceable.
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Old Aug 29th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

there is a set schedule and she does not follow it. Now my son says he is going to florida for 2 weeks and i dont want him out of the state. i have no idea what her intentions are. For all I know she could be going there and never coming back. I am telling her she can take him for 2 weeks after she signs a paper saying she will be back in 2 weeks and when a judge signs it. she didnt even tell me or inform me or ask me if he could leave my son told me and she still hasnt said a word yet.
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Old Aug 29th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

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there is a set schedule and she does not follow it. Now my son says he is going to florida for 2 weeks and i dont want him out of the state. i have no idea what her intentions are. For all I know she could be going there and never coming back. I am telling her she can take him for 2 weeks after she signs a paper saying she will be back in 2 weeks and when a judge signs it. she didnt even tell me or inform me or ask me if he could leave my son told me and she still hasnt said a word yet.


Absent court orders saying otherwise, she can take your son wherever the heck she wants on vacation.

You can try to file an emergency motion preventing EITHER of you from leaving the state with the child but I can't see it being successful unless you can actually prove she has the intent to remain there permanently (ie, she's a flight risk, she's just bought a home there, she has a new fiance who lives there...that sort of thing).

Even if she stayed longer than 2 weeks you'd generally have to wait awhile - vacations are normal, allowed and judges tend to be pretty pissy with petitioners who want to prevent them from happening without having a darned good reason.

You must also be careful here - you said you wanted to take him to Disney, correct? She refused, so now you don't want her to take him out of the State.

What's truly best for your son? His parents playing tit-for-tat or him being allowed to go to Florida for a couple of weeks?
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can my ex control where I take the kids on vacation?

If she's not following the court order, petition the court for a Motion to Enforce. While you are at it, ask the court to specifically modify the order to state clearly and plainly what happens during vacations with each parent. Sometimes two people who cannot agree on interpretation of a court order need to go back and have it modified to be as specific as possible. It prevents this type of situation from occurring.

If a Motion to Enforce is unsuccessful, a Motion for Contempt needs to be filed.
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