It is that time of year again when we are constantly seeing advertisements for Disney World, and when they have a lot of sales on tickets, gift cards, etc. And, for parents, there is a strong desire to go, but for those that are co-parenting, do you need to get the other parent’s permission to take your child to Disney World?
Custody and child support in Texas
Under Section 154.001 of the Texas Family Code, a parent may be appointed sole managing conservator, joint managing conservator or possessory conservator of a child. A sole managing conservator has the exclusive right to make decisions regarding the child’s education, health care, residence and, as is important to this question, travel.
Conversely, a joint managing conservator shares these rights with the other parent, unless the court orders otherwise. A possessory conservator has the right to visit and spend time with the child, but not to make major decisions for the child.
Sole managing conservator
If you are a sole managing conservator, you have the right to take your kid to Disney World without the other parent’s consent, unless the court order prohibits you from doing so. However, you still have to comply with the child support obligations and notify the other parent of your travel plans.
Joint managing conservator
If you are a joint managing conservator, you have to consult with the other parent before taking your kid to Disney World. If the court order gives you the exclusive right to make travel decisions for the child, then you would not need to get consent. However, this is an unlikely scenario.
If you are a possessory conservator, you have to obtain the consent of the managing conservator before taking your kid to Disney World. Again, this is true unless the court order allows you to do so. You also have to pay child support as ordered and share your travel details with the managing conservator.
Whether you must get the other parent’s consent before your travel plans depends on your status and the court order in the divorce. However, even if you do have the unilateral right to travel with your child, you should always include your co-parent in those decisions. Remember, maintaining a good co-parenting relationship is often about clear and honest communication.