Parents in Illinois who have gotten divorced and created a parenting plan may later realize that they never reached an agreement or even discussed what to do if one parent wanted to travel out of the country with their child. International travel can be a great experience to share with a child, but before taking a child abroad, it is very important to address any legal issues or concerns from the child’s other parent. International travel may involve certain risks, and if a parent fears that such travel will have negative consequences, they may try to put a stop to it. If you are planning on traveling abroad with your child and want to know how to prepare yourself, the following information may be helpful to you.
Obtaining a Passport for Underage Children
Whether a child’s parents are divorced or still married, an underage child must have both parents’ consent to apply for a passport if they are under the age of 16 (children who are 16 and 17 can apply for passports themselves). Unless parental responsibilities have been assigned to just one parent, both parents must be present during the passport application. If only one parent is responsible for the child, that parent must provide evidence proving that the other parent does not need to be present or give their consent.
Getting Permission to Travel Abroad
Even if parents do not share parenting time or parental responsibilities, the parent wishing to travel may still need to get written permission from the other parent before they leave the country. The other parent may want to deny permission for many reasons, including:
The traveling parent will leave the country with the child and not come back
The child may not be safe or adequately supervised
The child may fall behind in or fail to prepare for school
The other parent has scheduled activities or time planned with extended family during the travel dates
Although it may be difficult to obtain permission from your child’s other parent or an Illinois family court, leaving the country without doing so may open you up to serious accusations of child kidnapping and endangerment.
Meet with an Experienced Wheaton, IL Family Lawyer
If you share parenting time or parental responsibilities and want to travel internationally with your child, it is important to ensure that you follow all the necessary steps before taking your child out of the country. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our skilled DuPage County child custody attorneys can help protect your parental rights and address any legal issues involved with international travel. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation by phone or in person. Contact us at 630-871-1002.