International travel continues to become easier and more common than in years past, and it can be an enriching experience to share with children. However, it’s important to exercise caution when two parents are divorced and one of them wants to take their children across U.S. borders.
Usually, the risks are minimal when a former spouse travels internationally with a child, but in more contentious situations, the parent staying at home may worry that the travel — especially if it is for a lengthy period of time — is actually being used as a way to skip out on established child support orders and other agreements. A worst-case scenario would be the abduction of the children by the other parent.
Concerned parents may take several preventive steps to ensure their kids return safely home and that all obligations are met:
- Understand the legal ramifications. Speaking with an experienced child support attorney is a good idea before allowing international travel, as other countries have different laws in effect when it comes to paying child support.
- Ask for a bond. A sound strategy to ensure the safe return of your children is to ask for the other parent to obtain a surety bond and post it before the court prior to departure. The bond may be used to pay for pursuing legal action so that the absent parent is motivated to comply with already established agreements while away from the United States.
- Alert the authorities. As part of the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Issuance Alert Program, parents may register their information to make sure the other parent meets all the requirements of securing consent before they may obtain a passport for a minor child.
Before your children’s other parent takes them on an international trip, be sure to speak with a knowledgeable Tampa family law attorney at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras to make sure you have all your bases covered.