International Travel After a Custody Battle

We live in an increasingly mobile society.  Taking vacations with our families to all types of destinations around the globe is common.  It is also quite common for people to move far away, even to a different country, from where they were raised.  Parents frequently want their children to be able to enjoy international travel, whether it is to visit family or to sightsee.  If you have divorced or are separated from the other parent, this is unlikely to change the fact that you want to travel with your children.  However, travelling internationally after a custody order has been entered has its own potential complications.

To determine whether you are permitted to take your child out of the country, you should first look at the order entered following your divorce or custody case.  In the majority of cases, the parents are granted joint legal custody.  This means that you do not need to ask the other parent’s permission to travel with the child, as long as the travel occurs wholly during your parenting time.  This is true for both interstate travel as well as international travel.

The obvious main complication for international travel is making sure your child has a passport.  To obtain a passport if the child is under the age of sixteen, both you and the other parent will have to sign the passport application.  If you and the other parent have joint legal custody, the other parent is under no legal obligation to sign the form.  Moreover, without the other parent’s signature, the passport application for the child will be rejected unless you have a court order.  If the other parent refuses to cooperate and agree to getting a passport for the child, you can file a motion with the court asking for a specific order providing that you are permitted to get a passport for the child without the other parent’s signature.  If you have sole legal custody of the child, you will not need the other parent’s signature, but you will need to provide a copy of your court order to prove you are the sole legal custodian.

If the child is over the age of sixteen, then he or she must appear in person to apply for a passport.  Unlike younger children, a child aged sixteen or over must only show that at least one parent is aware that the application is being made.

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We have helped our clients understand their rights and responsibilities with regard to their children and travel following a custody dispute.  Call us today to talk about your future and how we can help you with your goals.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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