Taking your children for a vacation abroad is a great way to let them have fun and teach them about other cultures. It is usually straightforward, but traveling internationally with your minor children can become more complex after you go through a divorce.
Custody and traveling with your children
Upon their divorce’s completion, parents usually need to follow a custodial arrangement obtained through a written agreement or court order. This arrangement sometimes includes specific travel-related provisions, violating which might derail your travel plans or put you in legal trouble.
Whether such provisions are present in your custody order, it is generally ideal to notify your ex and get their consent before taking your children on an international vacation. This is because both parents usually have to appear when applying for a passport for their minor children. A parent who cannot attend the application can usually fill out a form, which the other parent may submit along with supporting documentation.
Disagreements regarding international travel
Your ex might disagree with your vacation plans for various reasons, including concerns regarding your children’s safety. Besides denying you their consent, they may seek multiple legal actions to prevent you from leaving the country with your children. For example, they might file a motion to obtain their children’s passports or ask the court to hold onto them.
When their exes disagree, some parents seek the court’s permission instead. In such cases, the court often determines whether there is sufficient reason to prevent the vacation or if the disagreeing parent is acting unreasonably.
Custody orders are usually in place for your children’s best interests. If you plan to go on an international vacation with your children, consulting with a family law attorney can help ensure your travel will go smoothly. Your attorney can also help you understand if your ex is unreasonable and protect your rights as a parent.