Traveling with kids is no walk in the park, but traveling with children during divorce can often present extra hurdles. There is a lot to do before you take off, including obtaining a passport, getting permission, and confirming an itinerary with your ex.

Read on for important information about traveling with children during divorce:

Obtaining a Passport

The process of obtaining a passport for a minor child varies, depending on your current custody order.

If you share joint legal custody with your ex, then you both must consent to the passport application. This can be done by both parties being present during the application’s submittal, and signing form DS-11. If only you are able to be present at the time of application, you can attach your ex’s notarized Statement of Consent, along with your DS-11 form.

If you have sole legal custody, you are required to bring a certified copy of your custody order, stating the same.

Problems with International Travel

International travel can pose certain risks, especially if your divorce or child custody case has a lot of conflict. The threat of international parental kidnapping is very real, which is why Judges are hesitant to allow international travel with a child during contested cases.

However, Judges are more inclined to permit international travel if the destination country is part of the Hague Convention. Many countries, including the United States, are part of this treaty. These countries have an agreement in place to help protect children who fall victim to international kidnapping.

Letting your child travel overseas is nerve-wracking, but you can take comfort knowing that your child is traveling to a country that is a member of the Hague Convention. It isn’t common for a non-custodial parent to refuse bring their child home after an overseas trip, but it does happen. The process to have your child returned to you is complicated. Do not try to handle this matter yourself.

Hague Convention Map

Members of the Hague Convention 

Domestic Travel

Your child custody order should contain rules for domestic travel with either parent. These stipulations are put in place to prevent misunderstandings between you and your ex. Typical rules may include:

  • Time of year travel is allowed, and for how long
  • The amount of advanced notice that must be given to the other parent
  • Whether or not consent is required
  • Restrictions on activities or destinations
  • Access to the child during travel

Traveling Without a Court Order

It is possible to travel with your child without a court order. However, it is recommended extend these courtesies to your ex before you make any reservations:

  • Get written permission and confirm the dates and location of travel
  • Provide your ex with your itinerary, including travel arrangements
  • Provide your ex with contact information for your hotel
  • Offer to schedule short evening phone calls between your ex and child during the trip

Being courteous during travel has two main benefits, the first being that your ex will appreciate the gesture. They will most likely extend the same to you when they want to travel with the child. The second benefit is that it will help you build a strong co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse. Learning how to co-parent successfully is crucial to your child’s post-divorce development.

Traveling With Children During Divorce

Traveling with children during divorce requires that you clear a few hurdles, which is why hiring a family law attorney is so important. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. routinely handles a wide range of child custody matters, including issues surrounding travel. For more information, or to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!