Nancy L. Sponseller

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When children of divorced parents travel internationally

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

When a couple is divorced, allowing children to travel abroad with a non-custodial parent can carry risks. It is extremely difficult to ensure that divorce agreements or orders regarding child custody are enforced in foreign jurisdictions. Furthermore, when a child is traveling internationally with an ex-spouse, the other parent may not have any access or communication.

Individuals who fear that their ex-spouses may abduct their children may want to enroll the children in the State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program, which alerts parents if someone submits a passport application for their child. A parent may also require the traveling spouse to post an ne exeat bond in an amount that the custodial parent would have to spend on pursuing international legal action in the event that he or she did not bring the children home by an agreed-upon date.

Parents may also arrange to have regular communication with their children via telephone or Skype, so that they can be reasonably sure that they are well. Individuals may want to talk to their ex-spouses and children ahead of time so that they are aware of the custodial parent’s expectations regarding the frequency of communication.

It may be very helpful for an individual to hire a divorce attorney in cases such as this one. The attorney can help individuals make requests for communication in writing, in case documentation is needed for legal proceedings later. The attorney may also be able to help a parent understand the legal system of the country their children will be traveling to in order to determine what recourse may be available in the event an existing custodial agreement or order is disobeyed.

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