School’s out for summer and you want to take your kids on a fun, memorable vacation.  Traveling inside the U.S. isn’t typically an issue, but what if you want to take an international trip and you are divorced or going through a divorce?

The general answer is yes, you can take your child(ren) abroad; however, there are several very important pieces that need to be in place and several scenarios that could be looked at.

First things first – your child cannot leave the country without the written consent of your spouse or ex. You will also need both parents to sign passport applications for your child(ren).  Without this, your child cannot leave the country.

Once that has been squared away, there are other factors that you should consider, or at least question, if you or your ex want to take your child(ren) abroad.

  • Where is the trip? Is it to a safe destination, so there is no concern about your child(ren) being in any danger from possible diseases, war, civil unrest, or areas that are potential hazards when travelling?
  • Will your child(ren) need to be vaccinated for the trip for diseases we don’t vaccinate for here in the U.S., such as malaria or typhoid?
  • Will this vacation interrupt already planned activities such as camp, sports, or other family events? (This can be an issue with a trip within U.S. borders as well)
  • Is this trip being taken for a special occasion such as milestone birthday or a family reunion? (Courts like children to be able to participate in such events)

Ideally, you want both you and your spouse/ex to come to an agreement regarding the trip, keep the best interest of the child(ren) at heart.  If you cannot reach an agreement, then the issue would fall under the court’s jurisdiction.

If you anticipate this type of situation arising for your family and you have questions, call us for a consultation.