I'd like to take the kids on vacation and based on my agreement it is okay to do as long as I notify the ex 30 days in advance which I've done. However, now she is saying I don't have permission to go out of state (MA) even though she knows I will be back with the kids in less than a week.We have Joint Physical and Legal custody and this is the section of my agreement. Each party shall be entitled to two weeks consecutive or nonconsecutive vacation with the minor children with at least thirty days written notice to the other, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, with information where the children will be going, and a telephone number where they may be reached. This provision is not meant to be construed as permission to remove the minor child from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for residential purpose. Vacation time as set forth herein shall not be taken in a manner that will result in missed days from school unless agreed by the parties in writing. Holidays shall take precedence over vacation. She is arguing that I should not be able to go on the holiday, but it is my holiday for custody. I want to avoid going to court if possible, due to the time and cost as I'd like to travel the 24th. Thank you!
Generally, chapater 208 s. 30 does NOT apply to vacations and, in fact, most agreements specifically authorize allowing people to go on vacations with their chidlren so long as an itinerary is given and the non-traveling parent has a way to contact the children. You should advise her of this in writing presuming that language is in your agreement and, if not, you should contact an attorney to get some assistance because you may need to go to court quickly for permission.
Regardless of the permanent/temporary distinction, Section 30 includes an exception where both parents consent. If your separation agreement allows for the vacation, you have the consent you need. However, if your ex interprets your separation agreement differently, that is a different story and you will probably want to consult with a family law attorney to review your separation agreement and help you determine your rights.
Your ex-wife is not correct . Chapter 208 section 30 is uniformly applied to permanent removal of children , not trips that are temporary in nature . You should be sure to tell her where you're going with the kids and allow her to contact them while you're away .
If your separation agreement permits this, I see no problem.
If you see a problem, have someone review this, and send her a
notification in writing, certified mail with return receipt.
Does this answer your question?
henry lebensbaum, esq.
300 Brickstone Square, Ste 201
Andover, ma 01810
420 Common Street, Ste 101
Lawrence, MA 01840
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