Travel Restrictions for Parents and Children after a Divorce

Parents and Children

Going through a divorce with children in the middle is undoubtedly challenging. However, parents who genuinely want to be a part of their children’s lives will find out that things will still be difficult, even after completing the divorce. Why?

It’s because, depending on who got the custody rights, meeting and especially traveling with children can turn into a hassle. Moreover, if you didn’t get proper legal representation for divorce, you may find out that you’re not allowed to engage in certain activities with them!

However, in this article, we shall focus on travel restrictions for parents and children after a divorce.

Primary Custody vs. Custody Arrangements

During the divorce, your lawyer can make some custodial arrangements in favor of one of the parents. For example, let’s say that the father wants to meet his child at least once per month or week. The lawyer can bring this up, and the concerned authority will either approve or deny this wish.

However, suppose the mother is given primary custody over the children. In that case, she will be allowed to review and deny any plans the father makes within his custody arrangements rights.

In short, even if the custody arrangement specifies that national trips are allowed, for example, the primary custody holder has the final say and holds the mark of approval.

Joint Custody

Joint custody is often more permissive than sole or primary custody. This is because, most of the time, parents who agree to joint custody are on good terms and can plan their trips without too much of a hassle.

Still, one parent must not “upset” the other. As the law clearly states, travel plans have to be checked with the other parent regardless of the custody type. To this end, in some cases, it is better to consult with a lawyer to see what you can and cannot do.

International Travel

When it comes to traveling abroad, things become rather tricky. Depending on how the divorce ended, one parent may assume that their ex-spouse will flee the country with their children. This gives them the right to file for the cancellation of their children’s passport if they have one.

But there is more that has to be taken into account:

  • Upon leaving the country, both the parent and the child must hold valid passports to the country they plan to visit.
  • Depending on the type of custody, additional documents may have to be filled out and signed so that the international trip can take place.
  • The parent traveling with the child must also ensure that their child does not enter any prohibited locations while traveling.
  • The parent holding sole/primary custody is allowed to forbid all types of travel for their child.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the government will not forbid one of the parents to travel with their children. However, they make sure that both parents agree to the travel plans and award one the power to cancel or modify them.

In short, the only restrictions you could face when traveling with your children after a divorce are only those caused by your ex-spouse. This is why, for the children’s wellbeing, it is recommended to discuss your travel plans with the other parent thoroughly!

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Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad.

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