As Connecticut readers may be aware, international travel provides great opportunities for children, but also great risks, particularly for children of divorced parents. As travel becomes more attainable, some divorced parents use an overseas vacation as a means to abduct children and keep them away from the other parent. There are some precautions that an ex-spouse can take to ensure that the children travel safely and return from their international trip. Parents are advised to consult with an attorney who has some knowledge regarding the laws of the places the children will be visiting. An attorney may help the non-traveling parent to protect his or her child custody and visitation rights.
Additionally, custodial parents have the option of seeking a ne exeat surety bond. The parent who will be traveling must obtain the bond and post it with the court. The parent must give specific information regarding the length of the trip and the planned destinations. The bond will be in the estimated amount that the non-traveling spouse would have to spend to pursue international legal action if the traveling parent does not uphold the agreement.
Non-traveling parents are encouraged to make a written request for reasonable contact with the children while they are away. Having agreed-upon plans for phone calls or Skype chats may be reassuring for the non-traveling parent. Lastly, the U.S. Department of State offers a Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. If one parent submits a passport application for a child, the State Department will attempt to notify the other parent.
An attorney with a background in family law may help a non-traveling parent to make legal arrangements to protect his or her access to the couple’s children while they are traveling. In addition, the attorney may help to ensure that the children return from their trip as agreed.
Source: Forbes, “Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband“, Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014