Can Your Former Spouse Take Your Child On A Potentially Dangerous Trip?

Law Blog

One of the hardest parts about co-parenting and sharing custody after a divorce is knowing if your child is safe in your former spouse's custody. While you most likely don't have to worry about this problem, what if there are some red flags that come up?

These red flags don't mean that you don't like that your child gets more freedom at their other parent's house. They mean what if the parent has booked a trip to somewhere potentially dangerous and wants to bring the child along? Is there something you can do to protect your child?

Here are some things you can do to protect your child if their other parent wants to book a potentially dangerous trip.

Look At Your Custody Agreement In Your Divorce Decree

Your first step is to check your custody agreement in your divorce decree. This will outline the limits to what each parent is able to do without the consent of the other parent. For example, can either of you take the child on a trip out of the country without the consent of both parents? You could also have a provision limiting each parent's ability to travel with their child, even within states or cities.

Check to see if you must give permission in order for the child to travel with their other parent. If there is anything written in the custody agreement that prevents either parent from taking the child anywhere either parent feels uncomfortable with, this can be enforced by the courts. If simply talking to your ex-spouse doesn't change their minds about their trip, contact your lawyer to see about getting the courts to enforce the agreement.

Negotiate Revisions To The Agreement

If you find there are no restrictions on travel with your child for either spouse, but you still feel uncomfortable with where your ex-spouse wishes to take your child, then contact your lawyer and have them draw up a revision to the agreement. This will need to be negotiated with your ex-spouse as to what will change.

If your ex-spouse does not want to cooperate and won't work with you to negotiate revisions to provide more restrictions into the custody agreement, then you can have your lawyer file the necessary papers to take them back to court. You can request a modification to the custody agreement through the judge. You will have to explain to the judge why you feel it's necessary to make the revisions. You must provide proof that your child would be in danger if they traveled to the destination your ex-spouse wants to go.

The judge will look through your documents and listen to your explanation. They will decide whether this trip is in the best interest of your child. They will look to see if their other parent is unduly placing them in danger with this trip and rule accordingly. They could place travel restrictions on your custody agreement or even limit the time that that parent sees the child. This is true if they have a history of disregarding the child's welfare.

For more information, visit a website such as


25 March 2020