With the holiday season in full swing, many parents are finding themselves making travel arrangements to travel with their minor children. Many parties involved in paternity/custody/dissolution of marriage cases don’t realize that Illinois law provides specifically that a travel itinerary be provided to the non-traveling party by the traveling party, when the traveling party is traveling with the minor children.
The statute in Illinois that speaks to this issue is 750 ILCS 5/609 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. This section provides that a party that is temporarily “removing” a minor child from the state of Illinois tender to the non-traveling parent an itinerary, which should include, at a minimum, the address and telephone number where the minor child(ren) may be reached during travel, and the date upon which the minor child(ren) will be returning to the state of Illinois. Many parties elaborate on this in their parenting agreements and custody judgment. Parties tend to include hotel information, flight numbers, airlines and times of travel, as well as names of other traveling parties. Parties have the ability to agree to exchange any information that they want before their minor children travel with the other parent, but the statute does provide some safeguards with the minimum information that is to be exchanged.
It makes good sense for a parent to give the other parent information regarding where they will be traveling even in the event that it is not specifically set forth in an order or judgment. Parents have a right to know where their children are and how to contact them in case of an emergency. Parents also have a right to know how their children are traveling so that they can verify a safe arrival. It makes good sense for parties traveling, with or without the minor children, to make the other parent aware of their travel details during this holiday season in case any emergency arises. Our attorney’s routinely deal with all issues related to traveling with minor children in the midst of litigation and should you have any questions regarding same, please set up a consultation with us.