My child custody agreement states that my winter parenting time should not interfere with school.
A few months ago before we booked the trip, my ex-wife verbally agreed for me to take my child to Disney World ithat would cause my child to miss several days of school. I assured her we would gather all homework ahead of time and ensure our child did not fall behind in her classes.
Now my ex-wife is formally denying the request for vacation! Is there anything I can do to compel my ex-wife to agree to this vacation?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Unfortunately, the only way to compel the vacation to Disney World is to file another motion with the court to obtain an order giving you permission to take the child on vacation.
Despite the fact that the current court order states that your winter vacation time is not to interfere with school for the child, you certainly can argue that you detrimentally relied on the child's mother's verbal consent to the vacation.
If the vacation is already booked, and especially if you put down a non-refundable deposit on the vacation, it demonstrates that you relied on her representation that she would consent to the vacation when you booked it.
The court will do an evaluation of the facts of the case and the reasons for the vacation to determine if it is appropriate.
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I do not think that simply because the last order states that the vacation is not to interfere with school, that you will necessarily be bound by that order. The court is always supposed to do a "best interest" analysis in making custodial determinations.
While it may have been better to have secured the child's mother's consent in writing prior to scheduling the vacation, I still believe that you have a strong argument that you should be able to take the child on the vacation.
If you do file a motion, certainly you will want to ensure that you specify in detail in the certification you file with the court accompanying the motion the reason for the vacation, the fact that the child's mother verbally agreed to the vacation, the fact that the vacation will not harm the child in any way, and that you intend to ensure all school work is completed for the child while on vacation.
It is important to incorporate all relevant facts in the written certification filed with the court.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.