Q: Can a parent with joint custody take a child (15months old) on a cruise without at least notifying the other parent?
Everyone resides in New Jersey and we have joint legal custody of our son
The first and most important question is whether you and your ex have a written agreement memorializing the terms of your custody, parenting time and support setting.
Secondly, you said that you and your ex have a joint custody arrangement but in New Jersey, custody arrangements are either:
1. Joint legal,
2. Joint legal and joint physical with neither party designated as the primary custodial parent; or
3. sole custody setting
Most custody arrangements in New Jersey are "joint legal", meaning that the noncustodial parent has the child living with him less than 50% of the time. In this setting, agreements typically provide that in addressing major issues outstanding concerning the child's health, education and general welfare, the parties must discuss the issue.
In joint legal and joint physical custody settings where neither is designated as the primary custodial parent, not only are the parents required to discuss the issue but as a general statement, neither party has the right to make unilateral decisions without the agreement of the other party.
Presuming you and your ex have a written agreement on your custody and parenting time plan, presumably in it, the lawyers put in language that addressed what type of notice each is obligated to provide the other for all travel outside of the state. Take a look at your agreement terms as to that item.
If you dont have an agreement, then its time to sit down with a divorce lawyer and have him either work out the terms with the other side or he needs to file an application with the court to put those type of terms in place.
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