Traveling Internationally After Your Divorce

Many families take international vacations to open their children’s minds to new cultures and provide for quality family time. After you and your spouse divorce, you may worry about how you will maintain such a valuable family tradition.

Traveling outside of the country after separation may still be a possibility for you and your children. California laws aim to help parents maintain custody and visitation rights with family travel. To take your children out of the United States, you must follow specific steps to go on a legal vacation.

Steps to Ensure Your Trip is Legal

To ensure that you are legally allowed to remove your children from the United States for a period of time, you must follow certain steps.

  1. Ask permission. Both parents must agree for you to vacation legally with your children internationally. You want to be sure that your ex-spouse knows the dates of the trip, and most importantly, whether he or she will miss their own visitation time. A judge may help draft a temporary agreement to balance visitation time after you return. Once you receive permission, you want your ex-spouse’s consent in writing.
  2. Revisit your court order. For various reasons, a judge may exclude certain parents from bringing their children out of the country. By reviewing your initial visitation and custody court order, you can verify that you are legally allowed to take your children on international trips. Should you be excluded from this benefit, you may wish to ask the court for special permission.
  3. Prepare all documents. If your ex-spouse and the court agree that your vacation is legal, you must prepare your travel documents. Airlines want to keep the safety and security of your children in mind so you may wish to bring all court orders surrounding your custody travel approval. If questioned, you may present all material related to taking your children out of the country.

California laws regarding custody and visitation protect children, but they also ensure that divorced parents have equal consideration when their children leave the United States. If you wish to alter your custody court order, consider speaking with an experienced attorney so that you can accurately and legally vacation internationally with your children.

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