Children Traveling Internationally with your Ex This Summer? Be Prepared.

by Norris Law Group on July 7, 2014

Children Traveling Internationally with your Ex This Summer? Be Prepared.Will your children be traveling internationally with your ex-spouse this summer? If so, Jeff Landers, a divorce financial strategist and contributor to Forbes Magazine, offers some tips to help you and your children prepare for their international trip. Landers gears his advice toward divorced or divorcing women, but his suggestions may apply to any parent whose children may be traveling with one parent.

  • Getting a Passport for your Child. The US Department of State requires that both parents appear in person to request a passport for a child under the age of 16, along with proof of parentage. But what if the parents are divorced and live apart? The State Department handles such situations by allowing a single parent to apply for a child’s passport if the parent can prove that he or she has sole custody of the child along with a court order stating that the parent has permission to travel internationally with the child. If this documentation cannot be provided, however, both parents must appear. This is intended to prevent one parent from taking a child to another country without the permission of the other parent.
  • Get a lawyer. If you fear that your ex is attempting to “run” to another country with your child, consult an experienced family law attorney familiar with child custody and visitation immediately. Your attorney can intervene and protect your rights and the rights of your child. If your child has dual citizenship, this may further complicate the matter and necessitate contacting relevant embassies or other officials of the countries involved.
  • Set up a “Ne Exeat” Bond. “Ne Exeat” is Latin for “that he not depart.” It involves having the parent who wants to take a child out of the country vowing that he or she will not violate any terms of an existing custody or visitation agreement set up in the US. As part of this bond, the traveling parent must provide information about the expected itinerary, duration, and cost of the trip. A “Ne Exeat” bond is a kind of “insurance policy,” and would provide the non-traveling parent with funds equal to the amount needed to pay for any legal action necessary to retrieve the child in the event that the traveling parent violates any existing agreement.
  • Inform the US State Department of the trip. The State Department offers a Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP). If you enroll your child under the age of 18 in the CPIAP, you will be notified if a passport application is submitted for that child. An attorney can help you with this as well.
  • Communicate with your children while they are traveling. Skype, Google Talk, email and international cell phone plans that include “talk-and-text “ capabilities are just some of the methods you can use to stay in communication with your children while they are overseas. Make sure the lines of communication are open.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of family law, including prenuptial agreements. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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