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Can I take my daughter out of state?

Schaumburg, IL |

My ex and I have joint legal custody of our 3 year old daughter. I have physical custody. I would like to take my daughter on vacation to Michigan (2 hours away) for 3 days. This time does not at all interfere with my ex's visitation time with my daughter. I informed my ex that I was planning this trip 15 days prior. He's saying that I can't take her out of the state on vacation because I did not give him a month's notice of this trip, despite the fact this trip does not affect his parenting time with her. His reasoning is just because "that's what it says in the agreement." I have family in contiguous states and I foresee many weekend trips (on my time) to visit family, where a month notice will not always be reasonable based on schedules. Do I need to go to court to amend the agreement?

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Attorney answers 3


It sounds like you have a Joint Parenting Agreement/Final Custody Order. Those agreements typically have a clause about out of state vacations. You should review the agreement to find the exact language. It may be the case that one month's notice is required. In the event you violate the agreement, his recourse would likely be a rule to show cause. However, if he were to AGREE to the (get an email) that it is ok, then you should not have a problem. Almost all of those agreements have a clause to cover this type of situation. Hopefully, he will be reasonable.

This is not intended to be legal advice and no attorney client relationship exists by virtue of this answer. Your matter may be time sensitive and you may lose your right to purse the matter via the passage of time. It is always advisable to speak with a lawyer and discuss the merits of your claim or defense.


Review your agreement. Usually notice is needed for the yearly vacation time but not typically for short weekend trips out of town. He needs to know where you are but cannot really veto your trip.

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This is the part of the agreement he is using against me: 5.8. Removal: Each parent may remove the child from the State of Illinois for visitation, trips, or vacation purposes without further leave of Court or consent of the other party, provided, the party intending to remove the child shall: (i) provide the other party with one month’s notice of his or her intention to so do; (ii) supply the other party with information regarding the contemplated period of time outside of the State, the address and telephone number where the child will be during the period of time outside the State of Illinois and a complete itinerary for any travels with the child; and (iii) shall permit reasonable telephone communication between the child and the parent who is not with the child. Nothing contained in this provision shall be construed to permit either parent to remove the permanent residence of the minor child from the State of Illinois without first securing the written consent of the other parent or securing the approval of the Court in the case between the parties. I wish I would have paid closer attention to this statement, but I also didn't think he would be unreasonable. Is this something that can be changed? Can I send him a letter each month stating that I might take her to certain states on my weekend with her? I have not problem telling him where we will be, but it's not always feasible to give a months notice.

Peggy M. Raddatz

Peggy M. Raddatz


That is not a workable provision. I would try Togo back to court and modifynitnto exclude short weekend trips so long as you give notice of the jaunt.


yes, you need to go to court to amend the agreement. this section means you cannot go to lake geneva for the day without thirty days prior notice. that is not usual.

but, we cannot tell you to go in violation of the agreement. but i doubt a judge would do much if anything about it if it does not take any of his parenting time.

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