Traveling with children, both domestically and internationally, can be a rewarding, relaxing, and even educational experience. Traveling with kids can be hard, however, and divorced parents face more challenges before even leaving home. Alternatively, some divorces involve parents residing in different countries, which would result in the child or children traveling internationally on a more consistent basis.
To alleviate some of the stress and confusion around traveling with children post-divorce, the experienced staff at Brian D. Perskin & Associates has compiled a list of need-to-know tips to make the process as easy as possible:
Applying for a passport.
The United States requires that a parent apply for a passport for a minor child. Typically, both parents will need to sign the application. However, if the parents are divorced, the applicant parent must prove that they either have sole legal custody of the child, or a court order granting the parent the right to travel internationally with the child. Copies of these documents must be provided at the time of application.
Passports allow the non-traveling parent to verify that their ex has stuck to the agreed upon travel itinerary because it documents exactly what countries the child has visited, as well as when they entered said location.
Inform the other parent of all travel plans.
It is important to keep your former spouse abreast of your planned travel itinerary. This includes travel dates, times, and ticket confirmations. Oftentimes, divorced parents will need to coordinate their schedules and agree on a time period that is okay for travel. For instance, Dad may want to take his Tommy to Europe for two weeks over summer vacation, but Mom has signed him up for summer camp during July. By comparing schedules and confirming plans, Mom and Dad will be able to make sure these two events do not overlap or cause unnecessary stress or re-planning.
Double check your divorce and custody agreements.
Depending on the specifics of your case, one parent may not have permission to travel internationally with their child. Alternatively, they may only be allowed to travel over certain holidays or at a specific time of year. If you find yourself in this situation, it is best to consult with your divorce attorney to try to petition the courts for a modification of your custody or visitation order. (Please note that requesting a modification might also be needed if you are planning to relocate with a child post-divorce.)
It is also recommended that you travel with copies of your final divorce or custody and visitation agreements in the off chance that an issue shall arise. Make sure to keep these documents safe, but accessible, during your trip!
Establish a communication plan.
It can be tough for a child, especially a young one, to go without seeing a parent for an extended amount of time. Ever changing technology provides many different platforms for communication. The traveling parent should provide their ex with access to the child by way of Face Time, Skype, E-mail or phone calls, at days and times agreed upon by both parents. Even if your marriage didn't end amicably, you and your former spouse should still strive to get along for the sake of your children. Denying the other parent access to a child will cause tension, and may even result in additional legal action.
Divorces with children can be tricky, especially when you take into consideration traveling and visitation. Issues can be made even more complicated when said travel or visitation is due to take place internationally. This is why it is important that you have a knowledgeable matrimonial and family law attorney on your side throughout the divorce process. They can ensure that provisions are set in place that addresses domestic and international travel and visitation. Contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates, the best family law firm in New York City, to get started today!