How Divorced Parents Can Head Off an International Abduction


When a divorcing couple has children, a custody dispute often becomes highly contentious, creating strong and negative feelings that can last for years. Once all custody issues have been legally settled, however, the child custody agreement is usually strictly enforced.

But divorced parents in Georgia, like elsewhere in the country, know that one parent can violate a custody arrangement, sometimes abducting a child as an act of revenge or retaliation against the other spouse.

Traveling abroad is relatively easy, and American children can travel abroad with their parents as long as they have the proper documents. A parent who has sole custody must apply for a passport for the child in person with the child, showing court documents that allow the child to travel abroad and that the parent has sole legal custody.

For parents who know their children are about to travel abroad with the other parent, there is sometimes fear - often legitimate - about the children being kept in another country by the other parent and not returning to the United States.

When divorced parents have established a healthy relationship, allowing a child to travel is an easy decision. For divorced parents who have a history of personal battles, however, the custodial parent should make sure the parent who will be traveling with the child secures a a travel itinerary and, if possible a form of assurance like a ne exeat bond, a legal guarantee that the parent will return with the child. The ne exeat bond can be used by the other parent if legal action is needed to return the child should the other parent decide not to comply with the custody agreement.

To learn more about child custody issues and concerns related to children traveling abroad with former spouses or partners, Georgia parents are strongly advised seek legal advice from a knowledgeable divorce attorney.

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