Traveling with Children Abroad after a Divorce

A recent article discussing divorce and international travel with children may be of interest to some readers in Texas. Barriers to international travel are disappearing in many cases, allowing many people to travel abroad more easily. However, a parent who does not have an amicable relationship with a former spouse may want to limit that person’s ability to travel across borders with their children.

Sometimes the non-traveling parent may worry that the other party will try to keep the child in a different country where enforcing a United States custody agreement may be very difficult. However, there are many ways that the government tries to limit international abductions. For example, when applying for a passport for a child under the age of 16, both parents must be present or a single parent must have proof of sole custody. Also, the State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program notifies a parent if a passport is requested in a child’s name if that individual has been enrolled in the program.

In some cases, the parent might require the traveling party to post a ne exeat bond. The bond is posted in an amount that is about equal to the cost of pursuing an abduction case across international borders. The bond also requires the traveling parent to register travel dates and locations.

When a former spouse plans on taking a child abroad, it may be prudent for the non-traveling parent to discuss the trip with an attorney. An attorney who is familiar with family law may be able to provide advice to a client, helping him or her develop a deal that protects the current custody arrangement.

Source: Forbes, “Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband“, Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014

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