Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Traveling Across State or Country Lines With Your Child

Divorced parents who take their children across state lines or country borders need to tread carefully. States and countries are increasingly on the alert for cases of parental kidnapping. In the US, law enforcement authorities estimate that more than 200,000 domestic cases of parental kidnapping occur a year. International parental kidnappings concerning Americans typically number above 1,000. For parents who wish to lawfully travel with their child, then, how can they make sure that they do not raise the suspicions of law enforcement?

Interstate travel for children and divorced parents

Typically all that is required is that the parent wishing to travel inform the other parent of the travel plans (some divorce decrees may not require any notice at all). Getting the other parent to agree in writing to the out-of-state travel can also be a good idea. The traveling parent should provide an itinerary and emergency contact information as well to his or her ex-spouse.

International travel for children and divorced parents

Parents may be able to travel domestically with their children with little or no notice to the other parent, but, for international travel, both parents should give their consent, preferably in writing. In cases where international abduction is a legitimate concern, there may be strict requirements in a divorce decree regarding international travel. The State Department also provides a service to parents that alerts them whenever someone attempts to obtain a passport for their children.

Remember that the specific language in your divorce decree is the most important consideration when considering travel plans. If you fail to abide by its terms, you could be arrested.

What provisions regarding travel did you include in your divorce decree?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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