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International travel post-divorce

South Carolina parents who have been through a divorce may understand the impulse to get away after the proceedings have been finalized. If parents have the means, they may want to travel internationally. In some cases, a traveling parent may want to travel abroad with a child or children. In the United States, children under 16 years of age need to have both parents present for the passport application. However, if the parents are divorced, only one parent may be present if that parent has sole custody. Alternately, if the traveling parent obtains a court order permitting the trip, that parent need be the only one present for the passport application.

In some cases, though, the parent remaining in the states doesn't fully trust the traveling parent. Abductions by parents who don't have full custody aren't unheard of, and in many cases, custody orders can't be enforced once the parent and child have left the U.S. border. There are, however, ways that parents can help ensure that the child is returned safely.

One effective way is a ne exeat surety bond. In this case, the traveling parent posts a bond in the amount of money it would cost in legal fees to obtain the return of the child if the traveling parent refuses to do so at the specified time. Consulting in advance with a family law attorney can also be particularly useful. This way, the non-traveling parent establishes a working relationship before the trip has an opportunity to go wrong.

Divorce can be fraught when child custody battles are made a part of it. Some children have the urge to become world travelers early, and with proper forethought and planning, parents can make it so the child can experience the world while they make sure they are returned safely and on time.

Source: Forbes, "Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband", Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014

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