Planning foreign travel with children when separated

If you are separated and plan to travel out of state with your child, you will need to make sure that you have a passport and that you have permission from the court. In order to obtain a passport you will need consent from both parents and signatures. If your custody order does not provide for travel out of the country which most do not, then you will need to also obtain consent from the other parent in writing with specifics on the travel or you will need to obtain permission from the court if the other parent objects. In most instances when a parent objects to out of the country travel, the parent wanting to travel will have to establish the necessity and that it is in the best interests of the child. Oftentimes, the court errs on the side of caution and denies the request. Taking a child out of the country imposes many risks when parents are separated, depending on which country you intend to travel. These risks include the difficulty of enforcing a custody order should a parent decide to not return with the child. Oftentimes the court will look to see if the country is part of the Hague Convention which means that the country has signed on to enforce foreign custody orders. Even if they are part of the Hague Convention is not a guarantee for a speedy return of child. Research should be done on each country prior to traveling to see how they have treated United States custody orders. Other risks in travel include diseases, instability of a country, and requirement for certain vaccinations. If you plan to travel with a child and are separated, you will need to plan well in advance in case you need to go to court to seek permission.