When It's Your Ex's Turn With The Kids, Does He Or She Have To Tell You Where They Are?

Posted on: 27 March 2015

Spring break is coming, and with it comes a whole new set of child custody woes. If you're separated from your spouse, or newly divorced, it can be difficult to know how to handle some of the most challenging aspects of child custody, like vacation time. Here's what you should know.

Your Ex Doesn't Have To Tell You Where They're Going

This may shock you, but absent a court order, your ex doesn't have to tell you where he or she is taking the children while they're in his or her custody. It doesn't matter if he or she is planning a trip to the zoo across town or a trip to the beach in another state. 

While it's hopeful that your ex will play fair and keep you informed, there's always the possibility that he or she will decide that it's "none of your business" where they all go during his or her time with the children.

You Can Get A Court Order To Change That

There's nothing unreasonable about asking your ex for the name and phone number of the hotel they'll be staying at over spring break. You don't need his or her itinerary, just the ability to get in touch in the event of an emergency. If your ex refuses, you can approach the situation one of three ways:

1.) Ask the court to give an "order to show cause," which will require your ex to demonstrate a good reason for the refusal. While there's no guarantee that the judge will see things your way, the courts generally encourage parents to work together, for the sake of the children. If your request is reasonable, a judge may order your ex to keep you informed.

2.) Demonstrate that your ex's refusal is somehow in violation of your child custody and visitation agreement. Read your custody and visitation order carefully. Does it address what sort of contact you are allowed with the children while they are in your ex's custody? If you are entitled to a phone call in the evening or some other contact during your ex's custody time, his or her refusal to give you proper contact information may be in violation of the orders.

3.) Show the court that it's in your child's best interest that you know where he or she is, even if it's not your custody time. For example, do you suffer from any chronic medical problems? A court could decide that it's in your child's best interest that you be able to easily get in contact with your children if there's a medical emergency.

If your ex is unwilling to answer reasonable questions about where he or she is taking the children over the weekend or during spring break, talk to your attorney. An attorney like Raskosky Law Office might be able to work it out without having to go to court. If not, you can always appeal to the court to write new ground rules into the custody and visitation papers.