Can you travel to your country of origin with shared custody?

| Oct 15, 2020 | Child Custody & Support |

International marriages are often very complicated. At least one spouse is going to need a visa, if not to complete a complex immigration process that might require everything from medical exams to a background check. 

If you originally come from another country but moved to the United States, either to marry your partner or in a separate decision, possibly due to work, getting a divorce with minor children can be even more complicated than getting married in the first place. One of the biggest concerns for you may be whether or not you will be able to travel with your children to visit your family in your country of origin.

Your parenting plan may have restrictions on travel

When one parent in a contentious divorce hails from another country, it is common for the other spouse to worry about the potential for international child abduction. While the law typically supports the rights of a parent to demand that their children get returned to the country where they hold citizenship, such a process is often long and expensive. 

The courts may try to prevent such parental kidnapping by restricting international travel in their custody order. You will likely need to get court approval in order to travel internationally after your divorce.

Provided you intend to return, the courts will hear your request

Unless there is credible reason to suspect that you will not return to the United States with the children, you can likely go to the courts to request a modification allowing for travel to visit with your family. The courts will likely agree that it is in the best interest of the children to have some degree of a personal relationship with their extended family, even if they live in another country. 

If you have a history of responsible shared parenting and have not made threats of taking your children permanently, the chances are good that the courts will approve a travel request even if your ex opposes it. Before you book tickets or otherwise spend money on international travel, you probably want to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney.