Question asked on Jan 28th, 2019

Q: Both I and the other parent have both joint physical and legal custody. In our vacation agreement it states that there would be a minimum of 14 day advanced notice and not extending for more than 7 days. The other parent wants to take child across the country for vacation but I think the child is too young. They are requesting that they take a couple of their vacation days to overwrite half of the days I would have him in my care. Would I be able to deny the other parent’s request or I have to let it happen?

A: It is unclear from your question whether the planned trip is, or is not, within the guidelines set out in your parenting plan/decree.  Also unknown is whether there are any restrictions in those documents against the kind of trip in question.  Normally, vacations and holidays supersede the normal custodial schedule.  Assuming that it is within the guidelines and not prohibited, then yes, the other parent has the right to make the trip.  That said, if you have some actual concern as to some realistic danger of harm (and something more than an amorphous “too young” would probably be required), then you can always try to negotiate the matter and, if unsuccessful, file a motion to have your concerns heard by the court.  The relevant statutes and guidelines for modifying orders relating to child custody are posted here.