Sharing custody of your children is especially challenging during school vacations. Here are some things you should know about how spring break affects your child custody arrangement.
Can your ex take your kids on a spring break trip without telling you where they’re going?
As long as your custody agreement does not specify that your former spouse cannot take the children to another state during school holidays, then your ex is usually allowed to travel with the children wherever he or she pleases.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the situation and really want to know where they are going, remember that by law, such decisions must be made according to the children’s best interest. If you feel that your ex may be taking your children someplace dangerous, or if your children are emotionally unstable at this time and cannot travel far, let your lawyer know that this potential trip is coming up. There are ways to prevent these situations from happening, or to make your ex at least tell you his or her travel plans.
Are both parents liable if kids get in trouble during spring break?
Usually, the parent with custody at the time of the occurrence will be the one held responsible for the child. But state laws can vary, so it’s a good idea to inform your lawyer of the unusual situation. In most cases, if your children are underage, you will be held accountable for anything that happens while they are still in your custody. If you let them go out with friends, it is important to remember this, and have a good talk with your children about the decisions they make while on vacation.
Another thing to remember is if you ever loan your car to your young teen and an accident happens, if you are the car owner, then you will be held accountable for damages made. Parental criminal liability also means that you may be liable in cases such as your child getting access to (or possessing) illegal firearms or hacking a computer.
Spring break can be a fun family time and a great opportunity to bond with your children. Don’t let anything like run-ins with the law get in the way of making it the holiday you will remember for all the right reasons.
Attorney Laura Spencer Coleman has a wealth of experience in family law. If you would like to set an appointment to discuss child custody matters, call her today at (850)-626-8520.