Divorced parents in New York might agree to child custody and divorce settlements, but that doesn’t mean they are always easy to enforce. Custodial parents whose ex-partners express a desire to take the kids traveling internationally might worry that their exes won’t abide by the terms of their child custody agreements. Taking legal action if a parent doesn’t stick to the terms when an ex has the kids in another country can be very costly and time-consuming because of the difference in jurisdiction. Divorced custodial parents do have some options that might reduce anxiety.
If the non-custodial parent breaks the terms of an agreement by keeping has the children in another country, the custodial parent could face expensive fees for legal actions to get the kids back. As a form of insurance, courts offer ne exeat bonds valued at the approximate cost of legal fees that the custodial parents would pay to enforce a custody agreement. These bonds are one way that divorced parents can discourage their exes from breaking the rules.
However, if parents are legitimately concerned that an ex might abduct their children, they can enroll the kids in the U.S. State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. When a passport application is filed for a child in the program, the parent who has custody gets an alert. For parents who aren’t worried about kidnapping but don’t fully trust their ex, finding ways to communicate with the children while they’re abroad is a good solution for anxiety. Scheduling frequent check-ins by phone or Internet can go a long way toward assuring parents that their children are okay.
Regardless of why custodial parents are concerned, these options might head off any potential problems. New York parents might benefit from consulting an attorney about ne exeat bonds or registering for the CPIAP. An attorney could also make parents aware of applicable laws in the countries their ex-spouses are planning to visit with the kids.
Source: Forbes, “Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband“, Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014