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Parenting Time Vacations: Can I Take My Child Out of State or Out of the Country?

Posted on in Visitation

dupage county parenting time lawyerSummer is right around the corner and many people are planning their vacations. After a year spent in pandemic lockdowns and away from loved ones, widespread vaccinations and the lifting of COVID-19 regulations in many states means that many families are looking forward to visiting grandparents and traveling to destinations to just have fun again.  While children often look forward to these trips, divorced parents sometimes suffer angst over them. The thought of their ex-spouse taking their child to another state – or even another country – can cause a great deal of anxiety, especially if the relationship between the parents is a contentious one.

In most parenting time situations, how one parent chooses to spend their parenting time with their child does not need to be approved by the other parent. However, if a parent wants to take the child out of state or out of the country, the parent is required to let the co-parent know of the plans and provide details about the trip.

In cases where the parent is taking the child out of the country for vacation, the child will need a passport and may also need certain immunizations. In order to obtain a passport for a minor, both parents are required to show parental consent. This means that either the parents need to go together in person to apply for the child’s passport or the other parent must give permission by completing the Statement of Consent form. The form must be signed in the presence of a notary and include a copy of the parent’s ID.

What If the Other Parent Refuses?

Just because a parent notifies the co-parent of their travel plans, it does not mean that parent will agree. Unless out of state or out of the country travel is specified in the couple’s parenting plan, then without the co-parent’s permission, the parent cannot proceed with their plans. They have one of two choices, either cancel their vacation plans and stay in Illinois or petition the court for permission.

The court will base their decision on what is in the child’s best interest and whether there is a credible risk of the parent not returning with the child, especially with international travel.  

As frustrating as it may be for a parent to go through the legal process to gain permission to travel with their child, it is critical they do not just take the child on vacation without either the co-parent’s permission or the court’s permission. Doing so could result in kidnapping charges and loss of parental rights.

Contact a  DuPage County Parenting Time Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you are having parenting time issues with your child’s other parent, a seasoned Naperville, IL family law attorney can help. Call the Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.



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