In general, divorced parents have shared custody of their children. Having joint custody means that both parents, together, can make important decisions about their children’s lives. For divorced parents with joint custody, this means that they will need each other’s permission for many decisions when it comes to their kids. Here are the top five permissions divorced parents should remember.

1 – Moving home

Starting over with the children in a different place can be very tempting after a divorce. Not only because one might have found love again on the other side of the country, or in a new land, but there’s something refreshing about building a new life in a new place. Longer distance and travel expenses might affect the current contact agreement that the other parent has with the children. Therefore, one needs the permission of their ex-partner when he or she wants to move (further or far) away with the children.

2 – Changing schools

Choosing a school for the children is a very important decision. Moving to a different neighbourhood with the children almost always involves a switch of schools. Because of this switch, it might be harder for the other parent to stay in touch with teachers and attend parents’ evenings. Therefore, one needs to consult the other parent about switching schools. Eventually, one also needs the permission of the other parent to choose a different school for the children.

3 – Vacation

Parents travelling alone with their children need permission from the other parent to cross borders. If one does not have the paperwork that proves the other parent granted him/her permission, one might not be allowed to hop on the airplane and enjoy the holiday. Therefore, it is very important that parents talk to each other about travelling across borders before they go on their family vacation. Also, one needs to ensure that – if the children do not yet have a passport of their own – the other parent gives his or her permission to apply for a passport for the children.

4 – Vaccination

Not all parents think the same about vaccinating their children. If one wants to vaccinate their children and this vaccination is not required by law, then he or she needs permission from the other parent to have the children vaccinated. The other parents’ permission is also needed for other medical interventions.

5 – Activities

Playing sports or going on a school trip is fun for children. However, it’s the parents that decide which sports club the child will become a member of or if the child can go on a particular field trip or not. One therefore needs the permission of the other parent for these kind of decisions.


If a parent doesn’t get the permission he or she needs from the other parent, then he/she can always go to court and ask the judge to grand him/her permission instead. The judge will make such a decision as he finds to be in the best interest of the child.

If you have any questions regarding your rights and obligations as a divorced parent with children, or about custody in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


About Loïs Lok

Loïs works as a lawyer in the Family and Inheritance law section, focusing on inheritance cases. She is a committed lawyer who puts the interests of her clients first and distinguishes herself by her personal approach. Clients describe Loïs as direct and solution-oriented.

Loïs deals with all aspects of inheritance law, including liquidations, annulment of wills, distribution and settlement of the inheritance, as well as obtaining information about the estate.

Within Family law you can contact Loïs for advice on access arrangements, legal parenting procedures and disputes about (the exercise of) joint custody. She also assists clients in matters relating to mentorship, administration and curatorship.