Do I Have the Right to Know Where My Child Is During Visitation?
More than 109 million Americans will travel to see family and friends during the holiday season. Travel is a great way to spend time with family and get away from the usual patterns of day-to-day life. However, travel is complicated with child visitation rights.
When you drop off your child(ren) at your ex's home for the holidays, you want to know where they are going, but your ex may not tell you. They might even say you're being overbearing or controlling. But this is not the case. A parent has every right to know where their child(ren) will be during visitation.
Three Reasons You Should Always Know the Whereabouts of Your Children
For decades, families heard the famous news line, "It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your children are?" on the television. And although we have cellphones today to track locations, your ex should always tell you the plans for the visit and the places in case of emergency, change of plans, and follow court orders.
1. Emergency Contact Information
In most child custody cases, both parents have the right to spend time with the child(ren). Therefore, the other parent should have any necessary emergency contact information.
Essential information includes the ex's phone number, email, and address, as well as the same information for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and whoever frequently sees the child(ren) during visitation. Also, your ex should share the phone numbers and addresses of all visited locations while your child(ren) is away.
2. Change of Plans
Like doctor's appointments and football practice, sometimes plans change last minute. In the case of visitation, an emergency may come up that requires immediate attention. Knowing the visitation schedule can help you meet your ex to transport the child(ren).
3. Following a Judge's Order
A court order is a mandatory schedule from the judge that decides when and where visits happen. When your child(ren) returns, pay attention to what they say and do. They might mention something that is out-of-bounds and breaks the law.
You don't need to immediately go to the judge if you and your ex can rectify the situation. However, if you notice a pattern of misbehavior, you should immediately go to family court and see restitution.
You reserve the right to know your child(ren) 's location at all times of the year. Knowledge of their location is crucial if there is a change of plans, an emergency, or you need to determine if your ex is breaking a court order.
Family law is challenging for parents and children, but you don't have to bear it alone. Let Hickey & Hull Law Partners help you every step of the way. Whether you are in the process of divorce and need child custody advice, or if you need representation for a new child custody order, we can help you every step of the way.