Custodial parent vacation help!

I am the custodial (sole custody) parent (Father) of my 11 year old daughter. I have had custody since she was an infant after her mother was deemed unfit. There is a visitation order in place giving her alternate weekend visits (Friday @ 6pm - Sunday @ 6pm). As well one week in the summer, and Christmas eve/Day access on a rotating schedule annually. I am planning for a 14 day trip to Disneyworld leaving on a sunday following a visit. The problem is the vacation would extend into the next scheduled weekend visit. I asked the mother if she would be in agreement to miss that weekend if I offered her an alternate at her convenience. She declined. So, my question is am I require to shorten the vacation to meet the visitation schedule or are there any options that would allow us to take this 14 day trip?


Asked 3 months ago in London, Ontario
Categories: Family Law

Answer Now

John  P. Schuman, C.S.

Answer by John P. Schuman, C.S.

VerifiedOntario lawyer

Disney World are a frequent source of conflict after separation, and the subject of many Family Court motions, perhaps because the non-travelling parent is jealous or fears that the trip could give the travelling parent an advantage in having a relationship with a child.  Judges do not care about those concerns, judge base these parenting decisions only on whether the trip is in the child's best interest.  Judges will generally allow small manipulations of the parenting schedule to allow a child to go on a vacation. 

So, the issue is what do you do when a parent unreasonable refuses a travel request.  Read this page for your options and the steps you may have to follow to go on the trip.  Unfortunately, if the other parent cannot be persuaded, and continues to unreasonably refuse to allow you to travel, you may have to go to court.  Although, the Order may dispense with the necessity of getting consent in the future if the other parent is just being unreasonable.

You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a comprehensive explanation of child custody, parenting after separation, child support, and most other common family law issues by downloading this $9.99 Kindle eBook, Kobo eBook, or iBook for your iPad or iPhone or ordering it from Amazon as a paperback.

However, if the trip is coming up soon, you may want to get in to see a lawyer pretty quickly to get advice specific to your situation and to get things in motion so the trip can go ahead.   

Posted 3 months ago

John Schuman is a Certified Specialist in Family Law.  He is the partner managing the Family Law Group at Devry Smith Frank LLP, a full service law firm located near Eglinton and the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. Learn more about John! Call him at 416-446-5080 or 416-446-5847 or email john.schuman@devrylaw.ca Listen to the Ontario Family Law Podcast!

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact John P. Schuman, C.S., or search the Lawyer Directory.

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