If you and your spouse have always enjoyed introducing your kids to different countries and cultures, one of the most difficult parts of your divorce may be the fact that travel with them may be more challenging. Even if you have joint custody and shared parenting time, your agreements may not allow either of you to travel out-of-state with your kids (let alone travel outside the country) without the permission of the other parent.
If you need to get a passport for a child, co-parents with joint custody will need to accompany them to the appropriate government office when they apply and prove their relationship to them. Even if your kids have passports, you likely aren’t allowed to take them out of the country without your co-parent’s permission if you share custody and parenting time.
Not abiding by the terms of your agreements can have serious consequences
You’ll probably be expected to provide an itinerary and allow them to remain in communication throughout the trip. If you go even without that permission (or approval of the court), or you stay longer than you said you would, you could find yourself charged with international parental kidnapping.
If your co-parent has reason to believe you might not return with the kids (for example, if you have family abroad), you may be required to obtain a ne exeat surety bond. The bond is for the amount the other person would have to pay in legal fees to get the children back.
Children shouldn’t have to miss out on opportunities because their parents are no longer together. When co-parents can work together to make opportunities like international travel available to them, they’re putting the best interests of their kids first.