Nowadays, many American children are given the opportunity to travel abroad. Not so long ago, international travel was generally only an opportunity provided to affluent children. However, the American travel culture is no longer so restricted. International travel can be a fantastic way for children to learn about other cultures, to experience the breadth of the human experience and to have a wonderful vacation with their families. However, it is important for co-parents to think carefully before they consent to allowing their children to travel internationally with their other parent.
Depending on how your child custody agreement is constructed, you may or may not retain the legal right to forbid your ex from taking your children out of the country. In many cases, your ex will need only to notify you that he or she is planning on taking your children out of the country if the travel occurs during his or her parenting placement time with the children.
However, there are real legal risks associated with taking children out of the country. And regardless of how your child custody agreement is structured, it is important to consult an attorney if you have concerns about letting your children travel abroad with your ex.
As much as both U.S. and international law attempt to prevent parents from essentially kidnapping their own children by living with them abroad without authorization from the children’s other parent, it can be extremely difficult to enforce custody orders abroad once your children’s other parent takes them out of the country. If you are at all concerned about your children traveling internationally with your ex, please contact an attorney to explore your legal options.
Source: Forbes, “Divorced Women: Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband,” Jeff Landers, May 6, 2014