Traveling Out of the Country with your Child and Post-Divorce Custody
Planning a vacation with your family is an exciting time. Everyone looks forward to getting out of town, particularly if you’ve decided to travel overseas. It can also be a great learning experience for your children. But if you have a divorced family situation, you may have certain stipulations within your custody agreement regarding guidelines you must follow before you take your children on a trip.
Make Sure you Plan Ahead
While traveling with children after a divorce is not unusual, it does sometimes require a little extra planning at the outset, so and your family can focus on having a great vacation together. Before you make your travel plans, check over your custody order, there may be particulars about which time of the year you have been allotted to take the kids on a trip, for example, spring break or the Christmas holiday period. It’s quite common for parents to rotate these vacations over the years, so bear this in mind when you’re planning a trip. If you want to take a trip outside of your allotted time frame, you need to discuss the matter with your co-parent. Should he or she not be prepared to exchange dates with you, try to reschedule your travel plans for weeks when you already have allotted parenting time. Even if your co-parent is being inflexible, try to avoid arguing with him or her. This will only build resentment, which may make things difficult in the future.
Requirements to Travel Abroad
When traveling out of the country, both you and your children will require U.S. passports. A passport application for a child under 16 requires both parents be present to sign the application form, if parents have dual custody of the child. The U.S. Department of State recommends that you obtain a letter of consent from your co-parent if you are traveling overseas with a minor.
Penalties of Travel without Parental Consent
If you take your children out of the country without the consent of your co-parent, he or she may be entitled to open an international parental child abduction case. Additionally he or she may file a report with the local police department and ask them to add the child’s details to the National Crime Information Center.
If you are a Montco resident planning an overseas vacation with your children and you are uncertain of the stipulations of your custody agreement, or your co-parent is trying to prevent you from taking a trip, call the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. (610) 645-0100. Our attorneys will be able to advise you on your best course of action, so you can enjoy your family vacation without any stress.