Parents are often concerned about their children when they are away — even when they are just visiting their other parent. It can be particularly challenging when you have sole physical custody and you’re used to your child spending a lot of their time with you.
You might be curious if you have the right to know the whereabouts of your child is during visitation time for many reasons. Perhaps your ex typically drops your child off late, you question if they’ll take your child without your consent, or you don’t believe your ex’s partner is suited to be around your child.
At the same time, there could be reasons why you don’t want to disclose your child’s whereabouts. It could be challenging to communicate peacefully with your ex or hazardous for them to know where you reside.
Handling the disclosure of your child’s location is not simple. It could leave you distressed and negatively affect the relationship between the two of you. Nevertheless, you can plan in advance to avoid arguments or use other ways to keep track your child’s whereabouts devoid of contacting their other parent.
Do I have the right to know the whereabouts of my child is during visitation time?
Absolutely — when you have a custody order that specifies that parents are required to disclose your child’s whereabouts throughout their visitation time. It’s a violation of the order if a parent declines to disclose where their child is.
To include this requirement to a present order, you and your ex have to agree to alter their parenting arrangement, or you may petition the court to make the modification when one of the parents doesn’t wish to include it.
If there is no custody order in place, the other parent does not have to let you know where your child is during their visiting time. In many cases, they are able to legally take the child out of the state or country without your consent. That’s the reasoning why it’s so critical to get a child custody order.
To acquire an order, you will be required to abide by your state’s process for acquiring a custody order or try an optional disagreement resolution method to come to a custody agreement with your child’s other parent.
What am I able do to figure out where my child is at?
You can get in contact with the other parent when your child is visiting with them, but they aren’t required to let you know where they are unless there is a court order requiring them to.
Many parents place a call to the police but this is not advisable. It might cause conflict in the parenting relationship and make the child feel uncertain as they might think something is amiss.
Alternatively, try to have a discussion with the child’s other parent about why it’s critical for both of you to know where your child is throughout your respective visitation time (for instance in case of emergency).
Directly contacting the other parent might not be a feasible option when you’re dealing with a verbally abusive or egotistical parent. If the parent isn’t accommodating, think about heading to court.
Should I monitor my child’s whereabouts?
It might be enticing to monitor your child so you have knowledge of where they are at all times. Smartphones and/or smartwatches are enabled with built-in location tracking abilities, and there are apps specifically designed for parents that wish to track their child’s location.
It’s inappropriate to monitor someone without their knowledge. You should let your child and the other parent know in advance because you’re essentially monitoring them, too, when they are with the child. When they don’t wish to do it, hear to their concerns and attempt to compromise a different way to keep yourself in the loop.
The right to know where your child is during visitation. (n.d.). Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.custodyxchange.com/topics/custody/advice/right-to-know-where-child-is.php.
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