Many parents are frequent travelers. Some move around a lot for their job; others simply enjoy visiting new places. However, whether these mobile pursuits are professional or personal, frequent travel can affect parenting time (custody and access) for co-parents.
Determining a child’s home
When parents move around a lot or split time between two or more places, determining where a child’s home is for legal reasons can be complicated.
For instance, celebrity parents Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis wound up in court over the location of their children’s home. The former couple splits time between states and countries, which made it complicated to determine which court could take the case and where their children should live.
When there are disputes over where children’s home state, province or country is, determining which court has jurisdiction over family proceedings can be complicated. And jurisdiction can play a critical role in the outcome of these cases.
Balancing parenting time
Spending as much time as possible with both parents is typically an arrangement that is in a child’s best interests. However, this can become very difficult if one or both parents move around or travel a lot.
Under these circumstances, parents and courts must examine several factors to determine parenting time (and “access”) including:
- Frequency of travel
- Distance between residences
- Duration of travel
- Whether a child will travel with a parent
- The purpose of travel
- Whether a parent can decline a trip or refrain from moving around when they have parenting time
Further, factors like whether a child attends school or where they feel most comfortable will also be vital to consider.
These elements can affect how much time parents have with their children and the schedule.
Staying in touch
When parents move around a lot, keeping in touch with their kids – and the other parent – should be a top priority. Thankfully, the internet, smartphones and video chat services make this easier than ever.
However, parents must establish rules for communication. Can the child call the out-of-province parent whenever they want? How much warning must a parent give the other parent when they are going to leave town? How should parents communicate when there are changes to an itinerary?
Solid communication can help everyone stay in the loop when a parent is out of town.
Travel schedules can potentially play a major role in parenting arrangements. Understanding how can help co-parents make informed decisions.