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Child custody agreements and international travel

When it comes to international travel, parents need to establish some guidelines about the procedures that must be followed when one of the parents wants to take the child outside of the United States.

While it can be an enriching experience for your child to travel overseas with you or the other parent, it can also be dangerous, so it's important that you establish some simple rules. Parents can codify these rules within their parenting plan in the form of parenting provisions that might look something like this:

  • Both parents can travel out of the United States with the child if they provide at a minimum 14 days of notice to the other parent. This notice will include a detailed itinerary showing where the child will be and when, along with phone numbers so the other parent can be in touch if needed.
  • The parents agree to share legal documents, such as birth certificates and passports, with one another if they are required for the child to travel out of the country with the parent.
  • The parents will not apply for passports for the child without first obtaining the permission of the other parent or a family law court.
  • The parents will keep the child's passport in a safe deposit box guarded under court seal.

All of the above parenting provisions might not be necessary to include in a parenting plan, and some parents may have other ideas for what they should include when it comes to international travel. However, the above provisions are a good place to start.

Ultimately, you will want to consider you and your family's situation to determine the most appropriate parenting provisions to which you and your ex should agree.

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