If there are no limitations on out of state destinations,and the order clearly states that the father has preference in even number years, then on the face of the order the father could make the travel arrangements. However, if the mother has a legitimate reason for declining the proposed vacation (medical reasons; extracurricular activities of the child that would be negatively affected by for example, missing scheduled events) and challenges it in the courts, the court does have the discretion to modify the order. One can request declaratory relief from the court, to ensure that the vacation will be permitted (by filing a motion). If the court determines that the other parent was unilaterally and unreasonably contesting the issue, they have the authority to award legal costs and fees to compensate the other parent. Typically, one parent would write a letter to the other parent, stating the relevant part of the order, and asking on what basis they feel they have standing to contest the vacation, requesting a reply date, with a statement that should consent be arbitrarily withheld, one will file a motion with the court, and request attorney fees.
Advice from the CA courts homepage:
hat happens if I want to travel out of state or the country with my children but I cannot find the other parent to get permission?
A: Usually, you need the other parent’s permission to travel out of state with your children, especially if you want to leave the country or if, because of your traveling with your children, the other parent will miss his or her court-ordered visitation. If you cannot find the other parent, you will need to go to court and ask the judge for permission to let you leave without the other parent’s permission. You will have to look for the other parent and tell the judge everything you tried to find him or her.
You should also closely look at your existing custody and visitation court order and make sure that there are no restrictions on you leaving the state or your country with the children. If there are limits on whether you can take your children outside of your country or state, you usually need a court order giving you special permission to travel.
If the judge gives you an order letting you travel, make sure you get it in writing. Also make sure the order has everything you need, including the dates of travel and any other information so that you can travel with your children safely. Carry a copy of the order on you everywhere you go when you travel. You may need to show it to the border patrol, airport staff, or any official that asks to see it.
This is accessible here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1193.htm