Allowing Children to Travel Internationally with a Former Spouse

What used to be a rare occurrence is now quite common: children frequently travel to international and exotic locales. But what if you are divorced and your ex-spouse who wants to take your child beyond U.S. borders?

While such trips may not present a risk to many divorced couples, other individuals may worry that once a child is on foreign soil with a former spouse, all bets will be off in terms of support agreements or other court-ordered arrangements. Worse, some fear that the other parent will abduct the child.

To prevent that sort of nightmare from occurring, parents should take precautions before their child leaves home, or when they themselves are travelling alone with their children:

  • Know the law. First off, parents should consult an experienced attorney to ensure that they are clear on any applicable laws in the country where the child is travelling and how that might affect arrangements already in force.
  • Require a bond. Some divorced parents also require the other party to secure a surety bond and post it to the court before leaving the country. This bond, typically in the amount to pay for pursuing international legal action, is intended to guarantee that the travelling parent will adhere to custody agreements while abroad.
  • Set up an alert. Parents can also contact the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Issuance Alert Program to ensure that the other parent meets the requirements for parental consent before obtaining a passport.

Along with these steps, parents should ensure that they have a clear plan for communicating with their child — perhaps through Skype or other device — to allay their fears and ensure that the trip is going as planned.

Before you allow your child to take one of these trips, be sure to meet with a skilled Long Island family law attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates. 

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