You always want to give your children the most and best experiences possible. This includes taking them on trips both in and outside of the U.S. However, problems may arise when you have shared custody of your children and you do not have a very amicable relationship with their other parent. Here is why you may need a family law firm's help before you plan an international trip with the children.
Your Ex Could Claim That You Kidnapped the Children
It happens every day; parents do kidnap their own children and run away. Your ex could easily claim that you are doing the same thing, and then it would not matter where you go. The police would be waiting for you when your plane lands. An entire trip with your children ruined while you are held in an international jail cell, all because you could not or did not get some legal help to clear it through your ex.
It Is Federal Law for Both Parents to Sign for Kids' Passports
Look at any application for a child's passport and you will see that both parents have to sign the form. Unless you can prove with court documents that the other parent has no custody over the children, or that the other parent is dead, you will not get past the children's passport applications. If you know that your ex is going to be problematic in this area, you will need to go through a divorce/family lawyer to get the ex to sign off on the passport applications. You may want to do that before you book your international flight and trip, since airfare and lodging for such trips are often non-refundable.
You May Have to Provide an Itinerary to Gain Permission
In some states and family courts, you may only gain permission from the other parent to travel with the children internationally IF you provide a daily itinerary. While this may feel truly degrading, you have to think about what the children are gaining from going on this trip with you, rather than the somewhat humiliating requirement to take them along. At the very least, your lawyer can provide a clear-cut travel itinerary to your ex without you getting involved, and your lawyer will also be the legal representative that can corroborate that you went through all the proper channels. This prevents any unpleasant actions on your ex's part, and allows you to travel out of the country with the children without interruption of your plans.
Contact a family lawyer, like Marlene Dancer Adams, for more help.
My husband and I had a great marriage for about ten years--that is, until he started cheating on me. I found out about it from a friend, and once I started peeling off the layers of my husband's lies, I realized that we hardly had anything to salvage in the first place. I decided that it would be best to get divorced, but I knew that it would be painful and difficult. This blog is for anyone out there who needs to gather the strength to get divorced. Check out these posts to learn more about the process and how the right lawyer can help.