International Travel with a Child After Divorce

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Traveling internationally with a minor child isn’t usually an issue if you have the correct documentation. But for divorced or separated parents, things work differently. For starters, a parent needs to get permission from the other parent to travel internationally with a minor child. Failing to take this step alone can result in charges of child kidnapping, which can result in serious consequences that could affect a custody arrangement moving forward.

There are a number of restrictions that parents must be aware of if they plan to travel internationally with minor children after a divorce or separation. These regulations have been put into place to help prevent international child abduction as well as ensure the protection and enforcement of a custody order.

At Schaffer Family Law, Ltd.​, we can help parents in Illinois and all over the world make sure their international travel plans with their minor children do not violate existing custody arrangements or other custody law protections, including the Hague Convention.

Understanding Regulations and Procedures

Attorney David N. Schaffer has extensive history and expertise assisting parents with international travel post-divorce. We can help you ensure that all of your documentation is in order and that you follow the proper steps prior to travel.

If you plan to travel internationally with your child, remember the following:

  • You must have authorization from the child’s other parent prior to leaving the country.
  • Your child must have a valid passport.
  • Keep the other parent informed of any changes throughout the trip.
  • If traveling on a visa, do not stay longer than originally stated.
  • If your custody arrangement or parenting plan includes travel specifications, make sure to abide by the established guidelines.

Failure to follow these steps could result in prohibited travel or a child abduction allegation.

Have concerns about an ex-partner’s travel plans? If you suspect your ex is using international travel plans to flee to another country in an effort to seek a more favorable child custody arrangement, we can assist in these matters as well.

Protecting Parental Rights

Having a trusted lawyer by your side can help ensure that you take the correct steps when planning your next vacation. If your child has been taken internationally in violation of these steps, Schaffer Family Law, Ltd., can assist you in obtaining the safe return of your child. From our Naperville offices, we represent clients throughout Illinois, across the nation and around the world. If you plan to travel abroad with your children, contact us today. Call our office at 630-922-4500 to set up a consultation.

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