Do you have a right to know your child’s location?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2023 | Child Custody

If you have sole physical custody of your child and your ex or soon-to-be-ex has visitation rights, it’s only natural that you’ll worry to some degree when your child isn’t with you. You may have trust issues with your ex that leave you concerned about what kind of environments they’re putting your child in. You may even have some concerns that they’ll abduct your child.

Maybe you started off the custody/visitation arrangements without concerns, but your child has said some things that lead you to believe their other parent is leaving them unsupervised or exposing them to unsafe situations.

Whatever the reason, you have a right to ask that your co-parent be required to tell you where your child will be at all times. This can be cumbersome, so a judge may want you to provide some reasons and evidence to back up your concern before putting a court order with this requirement in place.

Why you should think twice before tracking your child

Of course, even if it is, there’s no guarantee your ex will tell the truth. Wouldn’t it just be easier to track your child? Even if they don’t have a phone or smart watch yet, there are all kinds of GPS “kid trackers” on the market.

That can be problematic for a number of reasons. Unless your ex gives their okay, this can feel like a serious breach of trust – not to mention privacy. By tracking your child when they’re with their other parent, you’re also tracking them. 

Further, if you don’t tell them about the tracker and they find it or your child shows it to them, they’re probably just going to remove it and destroy it or leave it in a place that will have you even more worried. Depending on your child’s age, they could view this as a breach of their own privacy and believe you don’t trust them.

It’s better to discuss your concerns with your ex, if possible, and arrive at a compromise that will work for both of you. If you have real concern about their ability to parent your child safely, even for short periods, that’s something you should address with the court. Whatever the situation, it’s smart to have sound legal guidance to help you make the best decisions for your child.