A great way to spend the holidays is traveling near and far to visit friends and family. Others prefer to use their vacation time at the end of the year and see somewhere new. If you have travel plans on your calendar for the holidays or New Year’s, be sure to take a look at your parental rights as established in your divorce or shared parenting plan first.

Many new divorcees forget to consider their parental rights, like parenting time and child custody, when planning for the holidays. This can lead to some major confusions and frustrations. The last thing you want is buying airline tickets and booking hotel rooms, only to find you would be disrupting the orders set by the court.

For example, if you want to take a holiday trip and bring your children along, you need to make certain your ex-spouse does not have their own parenting time occurring during your trip. Furthermore, if you want to leave the country for your vacation with your children, you absolutely must be sure you have the parental right to take them with you.  Some parental right  orders do not allow parents to leave the country with their children before getting the express permission from the court or the other parent.


If you have an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse and you only want to adjust your parenting time or custody schedule slightly, then you might be able to talk with your ex about allowing it. You both have the ability to create temporary, unofficial modifications in this way, unless the court says otherwise. However, unofficial modifications reached through conversation should always be confirmed in writing—even if only by email.  Even so, you could agree to a visitation schedule shift for the holidays, only to have your ex renege without any legal consequence.

The better solution is working with a family law attorney to review your parental rights agreement. They can discuss how to create a temporary modification and get it approved by the court so that it becomes legally binding. With this method used, you can feel more confident that your holidays will be fun and stress-free.

Do you have questions or concerns about your holiday visitation schedule or child custody arrangements? Do not hesitate to reach out to Weis Law Group and our family law attorneys in Ohio. We have 20+ years of total legal experience with a focus on complex divorces and parenting agreements. Call (614) 732-5566 to schedule a consultation with our team.