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Can I Take My Child on Vacation in the Middle of a Custody Battle

Taking children on vacation sounds like a pretty normal thing to do. And in regular situations, there wouldn’t be any problem with taking your kid out of State on a vacation.

But this changes a bit when the parent is in the middle of a custody battle. This is because of the automatic temporary injunctions under 14-10-107 in the State of Colorado. This statute contains limitations on the actions that a parent can do while the custody battle is pending. 

One of those injunctions effectively prevents a parent from temporarily or permanently removing the children from the State of Colorado during the custody hearing if any of these requirements are not met:

  • An agreement of both parties involved in the custody hearing
  • An order from the court

Without one of two of these requirements set by law, a parent cannot take a child on vacation out of Colorado. Otherwise, there will be penalties and the court will view the act as a malicious way to take the children from the other parent — which can harm his or her chances of getting custody later.

Agreement of both parties

The easiest way to go about it is to speak to the co-parent about taking the kids out of State for a vacation. Sitting down with the other party and telling them all the exact details such as when the kids will be leaving, how long they’ll be gone, when they’re coming back, and providing an itinerary, is the best way to resolve it. 

Obtaining a court order

It sounds easy enough to form an agreement with a co-parent about taking the kids on vacation out of State, but there will be instances when the other spouse does not agree. When this happens, a court order can be obtained.

This is done by filing a motion to ask the court to grant the permission to take the kids out of State for a vacation. And in most cases, the court permits it, unless the other spouse has a bonafide reason to disallow it. 

All these only apply if a party to a custody battle wants to take the children on vacation outside of the State. If the destination is within Colorado, it is not covered by the automatic temporary injunction, and hence, is allowed — even without the agreement of the other spouse or a court order. 

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Heidi
Whitaker

Senior Associate

Fort Collins

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