Many families enjoy traveling together, and visiting another country can provide parents and children with an amazing experience that allows them to embrace new cultures. However, when a divorced parent plans to travel internationally with their child, this can raise concerns and legal issues. The other parent may worry about the risks the child may face and how international travel will affect their parenting time. If either parent plans to travel with their child to another country, they will need to ensure that the proper legal procedures are followed.
International Travel Restrictions for Children
When a child is preparing to go on an international trip, certain precautions must be taken before he or she can leave the United States. The child will need a passport for international travel just like every other person. However, there are additional processes that must be followed. If a child under the age of 16 applies for a passport, both parents must:
Consent to the passport application
Be present with their child for the passport application
Sign the passport application
In situations where parental responsibilities have been allocated solely to one parent, legal evidence must be provided in order to move forward with the passport application. If the child is 16 or 17 years old, they can apply for a passport by themselves if they have the proper identification forms.
Additionally, if a child is going on an international trip with one parent independently, documentation that supports this form of travel is required. A signed letter of acknowledgment by the non-present parent is required before the child can travel. If a parent has sole custody, a copy of the court custody document should be carried at all times.
Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney
If you or your ex-spouse plan to travel internationally with your child, it is very important to share that information with your attorney. Regardless of whether your divorce was amicable or contentious, either parent might not be comfortable with international travel. To ensure that your parental rights are protected and that your child will be safe during their travels, you should make sure all parties understand the dates the child will be traveling, the locations they will be visiting, methods of communication between parents and children, and any other legal issues that need to be addressed.
At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our experienced team can work with you to make sure the proper procedures are followed when a parent travels to a foreign country with a child. Our knowledgeable DuPage County divorce lawyers will answer your questions, and if necessary, we will advocate on your behalf to ensure that your parental rights are protected. For a free consultation, call our office today at 630-871-1002.