Summer is often the time of year when divorced parents are most likely to take their children abroad, whether for vacation or to visit extended family. In most cases, the other parent’s permission is required to take a child out of the U.S. There are some things, however, that you should be aware of before letting your child travel abroad.
Most parents have no intention of not returning a child to the U.S. Further, many countries recognize a treaty called the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The purpose of the treaty is to uphold the custody arrangements that are in place between the parents of any child under 16. It provides a legal process to ensure that children are returned to their home. However, some countries don’t enforce the Hague Convention consistently or rely on their customs and beliefs when making legal decisions related to the treaty.
If you’re concerned that your spouse might try to keep your child once they get to another country, it’s best to consult a family law attorney to find out what your options are before letting your child go abroad. Further, if you don’t want your child to go because you have concerns that the country is not safe to visit, you should learn about steps you can take to prevent the journey.
Travel abroad can be an exciting and valuable experience for a child. Most parents don’t want to stand between their children and that opportunity unnecessarily. You can get more information on the countries and territories that have signed on to the Hague Convention treaty on the U.S. Department of State’s website. The State Department’s website also has information on international child abduction as well as current travel warnings. Your Louisiana family law attorney can provide guidance specific to your situation.
Source: WOTV 4, “Can my ex take the kids out of the country?,” Gail Saukas, June 11, 2015