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Traveling internationally with children after a divorce

These days traveling internationally is becoming much more common for families. Many New Jersey parents find that traveling internationally can help their kids become better citizens and offers them an education that they can't always get in the classroom. Divorce often creates specific parenting plans for families. Some parents share joint custody of their children. In other situations, one parent has sole custody of the child and the other parent has the right to visitation with the child. But no matter what the circumstances, before one takes an international trip after a divorce with their kids it is important to know there are some special actions that need to be taken.

Kids who travel internationally with a parent need first need a passport. Kids under 16 must have both parents present when applying for a passport. If the parents are divorced, one parent may accompany the child if the parent with them produces documentation that they have sole custody or a court order specifying that they have permission to travel with the child.

For the parent who is concerned about their children while they travel internationally, arrangements can be made regarding communication during the trip. Parents can file written requests with the court for communication, which can include Skype and phone calls. When these expectations are set in advance it can help both parents feel more at ease during the travel.

If the other parent is worried that the traveling parent is not trustworthy there can be great insecurities surrounding the trip. The worried parent may want to research the laws in the country that their children are traveling to. The parent can also seek out a type of insurance in the form of a surety bond called a "Ne Exeat". The amount of the bond is the cost that the non-traveling parent would incur in pursuing legal action internationally. Also, if a parent is concerned that the other parent may take their kids internationally without their consent they should alert the State Department, which will contact the parent if a passport application is filed for the children.

An attorney can help divorced parents work out all of the legal requirements for international travel. Travel can be a great thing for kids but making sure both parents are comfortable with the arrangements is important.

Source: Forbes.com, "Divorced women: Take precautions before your children travel internationally with your ex-husband," Jeff Landers, May 6, 2014

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