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Can my ex-husband refuse to allow me to take my sons on vacation out of state due to sleeping arrangements on the trip?

Long Beach, CA |

My ex-husband and I have been separated 6 years, divorced for 4. We share joint physical and legal custody of 10 year old sons (multiples).

I have reservations to take my family (including my boyfriend of 4 years and my parents) on a 7 day cruise and have asked for a letter of consent from him (because we will be going out of state). My ex is refusing to sign a letter if any of the boys sleep in the same state room as my boyfriend (the boyfriend has known the boys for 2 years, and has been living with us for 6 months).

Does my ex-husband have the right to dictate where the children sleep during my custodial time? My boyfriend has no record, and has a positive relationship with the boys (this is coming only from my ex, my children have no problem). Diplomacy is not usually an option with my ex, as he has control issues with me.

What can he do, and legally, if he continues to object, what avenues can I take to allow this trip to happen without asking my parents (and me and my boyfriend) to sleep in separate rooms?

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Attorney answers 5


I would file a motion with the court if I were you if you do not want your vacation ruined. There is no reasonable reason you should not all be able to stay in the same room together on a cruise. You need a judges help fast.

Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


I cruise quite a lot so I am assuming that you have a suite and not just one room as one room on a cruise would be pretty crowded.

I agree with my colleague I would file with the court to get a ruling because you are going out of state (and I assume the country) and there are too many things that could go wrong at the last minute (ex change his mind and raise a stink). I think your best course of action is to have an order signed by a judge permitting you to take the cruise. I would also want in the order the exact type of room it is and the sleeping set up (beds, etc)

Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship


My esteemed colleagues are correct. I have seen too many family vacations ruined because o mean spirited last minute objections to vacation plans. As long as you are sleeping in the same room as the boyfriend and kids, there should be no problem getting the approval of the court. Don't forget to ask that you ex pay for you attorney fees for this.


Depending on the wording of the order you may not need consent. Due to funding cuts you may not be able to get a hearing date anyway-- mediation is your best bet.

As to the cohabitation issue--if your ex has not yet asked for a reduction in spousal support due ti this-- he may. Especially if you decide to go to court and bring it up.



All the answers have been wonderful. So I am not going to repeat the above suggestions and comments.

However, If time is of the essence and you don't have time to go to court, you might want to see you can get a separate room for them or a suite.

Just an idea, not withstanding the issue that it would mean caving into a demand that may be avoided through court order. The cost of going into court with an emergency order if you are in a pinch may be what it would cost to have an extra room.

The information contained on these webpages does not constitute legal advice, and the transmission of that information to you does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information is for education and edification purposes only.

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