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Necessary steps for international travel with kids after divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2020 | Divorce

Sharing travel adventures with your children can be a great way to bond after a divorce, but the farther you intend to travel, the more legally complicated your situation becomes. Particularly for those who wish to leave the country, possibly to visit family members abroad, post-divorce travel with shared custody can quickly become a complex issue.

If your ex does not agree with your desire to travel with the children, that can lead to conflict and complication. If you have sole physical and legal custody of your children after a divorce or if you go to the courts for approval prior to traveling, you may be able to legally go abroad with your kids, even if your ex isn’t enthusiastic about your plans.

Request a hearing to secure court permission to travel

The custody order from your divorce likely restricts your ability to travel or relocate with the children in order to protect their relationship with the other parent, your ex. The courts will approve travel requests in most cases provided that you follow the proper procedure.

Giving the courts and your ex adequate notice of your intent to travel, with the exception of an emergency such as a death in the family, will certainly help, especially if you’ll be traveling outside of the limits listed in the custody order. Beyond that, demonstrating the value of the trip and clarifying your intentions to return home promptly can help improve your chances of securing court approval.

Offer to leave a bond if your ex or the courts worry about abduction

Depending on the country to which you intend to travel, enforcing laws about International child abduction could be prohibitively difficult, as a result, the courts could require that you post a special surety bond with the court. The amount of bond required usually reflects the costs of international enforcement of a child custody order. Once you post the bond, you essentially promise the courts and your ex to return on time with the children.

Finally, since your travel will likely diminish the amount of time your ex has with the children, you may want to make plans for virtual visitation so that the kids can stay in touch with both parents while they travel. Doing so will make it clear both to your ex and the courts that your desire to travel is based on wanting to provide the children with an experience, not an attempt to alienate them from their other parent.