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Does my ex need to tell me my kids will be on vacation?

Let's say your ex-spouse will have the kids for spring vacation. They're planning to go on a vacation out of town, but your ex refuses to tell you where they're going. Can you do something to make sure you're informed?

This is not the clearest cut question to answer from a legal perspective. That's because, if your child custody and visitation agreement doesn't indicate otherwise, your ex may take your kids wherever he or she pleases on vacation, as long as it doesn't endanger your children. Nevertheless, it is likely in the best interest of your kids for you to know where they're going in case of an emergency.

If your ex is trying to keep the vacation destination a secret from you, it's a good idea to be upfront about your need for information. Politely ask your ex to provide you the information about where they're headed. If you don't get an answer, consider sending a certified letter that cordially repeats what you asked -- and consider copying your ex's lawyer too. The lawyer will likely convince your ex to provide the information to prevent the issue from showing up in court.

As a last resort, you can submit an "order to show cause" to the court. An "order to show cause" will demand that your ex state the reasons in court why he or she doesn't have to tell you the vacation plans. Most reasonable family law judges will order the disclosure of this information.

Are you having trouble with your ex over a child custody issue? A North Carolina family law attorney's advice about your issue can be immeasurably helpful. An attorney can provide you with strategies and other information about how to resolve your issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Custody or visitation interference," accessed Feb. 16, 2017

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